Poll: MRAK readers overwhelmingly believed construction workers at Denali National Park over official National Park Service flag ban denial

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American flag flies in font of the Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park. Photo credit: National Park Service

Must Read Alaska’s weekly poll on topics of the day appears every Monday in the Must Read Alaska newsletter, which is read by thousands of Alaskans and others around the world on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

This week’s Question of the Week was: Who do you believe — the construction workers in Denali or the Park Service version of the flag ban controversy?

Readers of this publication have been closely following the account that began when construction workers at Denali National Park were ordered by the Park Service employees to not fly American flags from their trucks when using the Park Road to go between the Parks Highway and the bridge work site at the Pretty Rocks Landslide, near Mile 43.

The National Park Service at first vehemently denied it had told the workers anything about their flag flying. In essence, the National Park Service was calling the construction workers liars. On Monday, Must Read Alaska didn’t publish a newsletter, so this Question of the Week was in the Wednesday edition.

Here are the results: 98% of those who participated in the Question of the Week believed the construction workers.

The MRAK Question of the Week poll is not scientific, but gives a glimpse about whether conservatives generally believe official statements from government agencies that have been put on the defense.

After the poll closed Friday, Must Read Alaska received copies of official statements from the Federal Highway Administration and Granite Construction.

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It became clear from the FHA statement that the National Park Service had obfuscated when it issued its earlier statement, saying it had not told the workers to remove their flags. In fact, NPS had told the Federal Highway Administration project manager that someone had complained about the “noise” from an American flag on a worker’s truck, and instructed the FHA to tell the construction company to tell its workers to take the flags off their trucks when they pass through the park.

The Anchorage Daily News, in its latecomer report on the flag flap, launched into its story by taking the side of the National Park Service and the ADN and the NPS led a smear campaign against Sen. Dan Sullivan for standing up for the workers’ First Amendment rights.

“The National Park Service said Sunday it never ordered the removal of the American flag from vehicles involved with a construction project inside Denali National Park and Preserve despite reports circulated by right-wing media and amplified by Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan,” the ADN reported.

After the Federal Highway Administration gave its account, it became clear that an order had come down, but through another agency.

Read Must Read Alaska’s stories on this event as it unfolded:

58 COMMENTS

  1. Wow Suzanne. What a shocker. That most of the Kool Aid drinking types on MRAK believe your biased reporting. Who could have predicted such a thing?!

    • Cman
      Yes and we know you are just entertainment.
      You are so blind of the truth so watch where you step you might step on yourself.

        • You know cman, that’s pretty funny. This coming from someone, who finds a great deal of validation and comfort in non-scientific consensus, when it comes to climate change, Covid or those EVs….

    • Time for another booster shot – stay safe.
      Still wearing your mask, I hope.
      Kool-Aid drinkers?
      Let’s see – people that go against pop culture, the MSM, the official “narrative” of the Feds, the medical industrial complex, against foreign wars, free trade with China, and an open border – kool-,aid drinkers?
      No.
      More like Rebels, free thinkers, contrarians, pure bloods, deplorables, gangsters (according to DeNiro) – the exact opposite.

      • Yes, you’re a truth seeker for all of us to mirror our lives by. Full of yourself much?

        What makes you so sure that any sources you rely on are accurate why others are not? Seems to me we’re in the same boat.

    • Well.. When a friend works for a sub-contractor to Granite and Granite faxed out the letter to their sub contractors and his boss shows him a copy, I would have to say that it’s not BS.

      So.. When is joey going to be charged with showering with his daughter…? Seems real to me when it’s in his daughter’s diary. And where is hunter’s gun charges at..? Lying on a 4473 is a felony. So are the pics of having sex with under aged sex workers, stored on hunter’s laptop.

    • Cman, it is interesting that you only choose to insult and ridicule others. In my experience that indicates that you have no real argument. If you believe the NPS please enlighten everyone as to your reasons and logic.

      Personally I am skeptical of the NPS narrative.
      It seems they expected the construction workers to simply comply. When the NPS flag demand became public knowledge, the NPS issued a categorical denial, insinuating falsehoods from the workers. The controversy continued, as the construction people reiterated their claim. The NPS then claimed to have received a “noise complaint”. Now they are essentially admitting the pertinent parts of the issue, but are blaming a “rogue” employee.

      The irony is, had the NPS simply stated that they will investigate (and not issued all those statements) conclude that some one in their employ had in fact made the demand, apologized for it and disciplined that individual, all this would never have been a huge controversy.
      We expect transparency from our government institutions and obfuscating denials such as in this case, so not provide confidence to the public at large.

  2. The national park service is infested with leftist democrats. They have a political agenda. I would believe Charlie Manson before any of these anti-republic a-holes.

    • Yep, they’re all from outside & only here for a short time, doing the Left’s petty work for them.
      I had one complaining to me about how many salmon we dip net on the Copper River.
      She was a summer worker from Wisconsin that thought it was terrible that we fill up our freezers w/ fish.

      • DoneWithIt – Why do I suspect you get irritated when you see someone washing their hands in a public restroom?

        • It is with 100% certitude that you received more than one experimental Covid gene therapy.
          You’re probably “that guy” who is still driving in your car, alone, with the windows rolled up wearing a mask.
          Am I right?

    • So glad Trump is still living rent-free in your head, Sebastian.
      In other (fake) news: A poll of ADN readers (all 25 of them) confirmed that 99.9% believe the ADN is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

  3. I could care less about the poll. I’m focused on two facts above all.

    The construction guys story never appreciably changed. The park service story, however…

  4. Read the statement closely. the NPS said “they” didn’t give the order to remove flags. The Superintendent of the park did. NPS never mentioned that perhaps an employee went rogue and did this. No apologies or even admittance of a miscommunication, just the construction workers were lying. Pathethic.

    • If NPS is so patriotic, then why wasn’t there an American flying at the park headquarters on the day before Memorial Day? When they were asked about it, they couldn’t even find the flag to put it on the flagpole.

  5. Why is anyone arguing over an order that could just be ignored if was not in writing? Furthermore, this has nothing to do with employees’ free speech. Anything employees do relating to the public while on duty, if not criminal, is the primary responsibility of the employer.

    • I’m sure Granite (America’s Infrastructure Company) has their nose so far up the Feds butt, they would lay off workers who don’t de-flag their vehicles.
      Don’t have to fire them & cause a lawsuit …. just a RIF will do (reduction in force)

  6. I don’t believe a word out of the mouths of the NPS. Their ideology is so far left, they think they OWN the land within the Parks. Haaland is a rank liar. She purposely brought on board all of radical LGBTQ feminists and moved them up the ladder to positions like park superintendent. It’s part of the LGBTQ takeover plot to destroy America.

  7. ADN lost its credibility decades ago. In recent years it’s gotten even worse. A cover-up rag for Democrat scandal and graft. A mouthpiece for government propoganda. And up in Fairbanks they’ve got an old, white-haired skalliwag writer who spews hate and vitriol through his little blog, that is, between love fests with his bottle. The ADN got rid of him years ago because he was old and washed-out. His blind rage still has a few followers, mostly dry cabin degenerates who share alcoholic and marijuana fueled hissy fits over Republicans. May he rest in peace with his twin.

  8. Now I strongly doubt there was a park visitor complaining about flag noise. I believe it was probably an anti-American, extreme environmental zealot park employee who generated this controversy.

  9. Well, since it’s June, I’m sure there will be some rainbow flags out there, everywhere, that anybody who’s offended by will dare not say a single word for fear of serious retribution for saying anything negative about a rainbow flag no matter where it’s flown.

  10. I absolutely believe the construction hands .
    I once worked for a public electrical utility that made us take the U.S. Flag decals off the City owned vehicles .
    We didn’t comply so they removed them and we would put them right back up . Long story short , we won .

  11. Nobody voluntarily takes down the American Flag. Our colors do not run. A flag bearer in the face of combat was always one of the badass, bravest souls that carried the honor of his unit to carry and protect the “colors.” The construction worker was stressed about losing his livelihood and was threatened. Like a good American, he stood up and refused to be silent… and spoke up. Our State and Nation heard.
    Let Old Glory fly on every corner of this great country. Let the sound of it flapping in the wind lend credence, remembrance, and respect to those who gave it all. Thank you Senator Sullivan for sticking up for the working folk of this state and standing behind what is right. Shame on those who ran or attempted to be a party in the apparent CYA cover-up. Let freedom ring.

  12. “ALL” of these Guv’ment Agencies have become empowered to lie to the American Public; especially when these Bureaucrats are ‘never’ held accountable. Given this fact, why wouldn’t you lie, as an untouchable Bureaucrat, to whatever is in your favor. You’ll never be admonished for it, you will never face shame or regret, you’ll most likely be promoted and given a raise. You will never have to live an honorable life of high virtues.
    For the rest of us, we’ll keep paying our taxes so you can continue to waste Taxpayer Dollars and grow your Bureaucratic enclaves with other aspiring Bureaucrats with mental issues that will achieve nothing in life but, sucking-off the system.

  13. The hysterical survey respondents and MRAK should’ve sat back in their chairs and waited for facts. This whole kerfuffle smelled like a low-level NPS employee passing on some greenie visitor’s complaint, and that’s exactly what it was. I hope the truck drivers told the NPS employee to go to hell.

    But then the online blogs and other “news” sources jumped on the story and gleefully conflated it to misreport this was a directive from the Park Superintendent.

    Ha! The irresponsible foolishness gets spread in all directions. Shame on all of ye.

    • Yeah, an alleged anti-American visitor, an incredibly stupid low level ranger, and an obviously lawyeresque, lying public relations officer were poor Superintendent Merrell’s undeserved scourges. She’s as innocent as Christ and as pure as Denali’s snows. We should all fly like noisy flags to her defense! Forget the outrage; think of poor Brooke!

  14. Truth always prevails…even if it takes seven years or 17 years or 19 years or 45 years or 47 years. Truth wins in the end.

  15. Well, since it’s June, I’m sure there will be some rainbow flags out there, everywhere, that anybody who’s offended by it will dare not say a single word for fear of serious retribution for saying anything negative about a rainbow flag no matter where it’s flown.

  16. Color me shocked… in other news Water is wet…

    Of course the crowd with a victim complex thinks they are victims…

  17. This is the same National Park Service that sent thugs up on the Yukon River near Central in 2016 to beat up a 70 year old man only because they were dumb enough to think they could get away with it.

  18. More overreacting from the woke patriots. They always believe the rules don’t apply to them. Grow up. You’re being asked to TEMPORARILY remove a flag. Is the truck metal? How about spending $20 on a magnetic flag. Problem solved. Your truck can display it without a sound. You people whine louder than air coming out of a balloon.

    • Ryan, they are not asked to remove “a flag”. They received a demand to remove THE American Flag. Patriots showing pride in their country are being told to cease and desist by an entity of the their government.
      It is further humorous that you think the “noise complaint” has actual merit. Interestingly by offering a solution, you indirectly admit that the demand to remove the American Flag, while traveling the park road was not acceptable.

  19. The survey question should be, is it necessary to drive a noisy truck with a big flag through a park twice a day?

    • You want the road fixed this decade, Frank?
      I suppose they could drive smaller trucks back and forth with smaller flags on them, driving the park road all day long…
      BTW Franks, thanks for stating plainly that the TRUCKS are noisy not the flag!

  20. Here is the Question Suzanne:
    Are the employees still flying/displaying flags from vehicles.
    Or have they taken them off, for fear of being laid off by Granite?

    • I will ask. I think the workers are nervous about losing their jobs, which is why they are anonymous here. – sd

  21. Knowing a little about government contracting, if the statement of work did not say “no flags on contractor vehicles during the scope of the contract”, then the contractor did nothing wrong. If, during the execution of the contract the National Park Service wanted to change those terms, then a memorandum of understanding would have to be generated and signed by both parties.

  22. Has anyone checked to see if the pride flags are flying high at the gates to the Park? It’s very important to me that we spend the entire month of June glorifying the courageous sacrifice and gender/sexual identity of a small minority of Americans.

    I spent 29 years serving in the military and I am certain that my buddies who were killed in action would be filled with gratitude that they get an entire day.

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