Haddam selectwoman releases statement after kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance

HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) - A Haddam selectwoman is speaking up after kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance at a board of selectmen meeting last week.

Video obtained by News 8 shows Haddam selectwoman Melissa J. Schlag kneeling during the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the meeting on July 16.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Schalg explained her decision to kneel, saying she "...knelt out of extreme sorrow..." for the country after President Donald Trump's recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schalg added that she knelt for several reasons, including those related to the treatment of migrant children, as well as for bullying and women's rights issues.



Republican State Senator Art Linares released a statement in response to the action, saying, in part, "...Melissa Schlag should immediately apologize to Haddam residents who are offended by her lack of respect. No matter our political differences, we cannot allow blatant animus towards the symbols that unite us as a people to be tolerated in public life.”

The town's First Selectwoman, Lizz Milardo, released the following statement on the kneeling:

It is unfortunate that Melissa has decided to use our meetings as a forum for her own personal interests. The flag does not represent a president or issue you take exception to it represents our nation and freedom that others have sacrificed and defended for the rest of us. I have many residents upset. Haddam has a long and proud history of veterans and residents that are proud to stand for our flag.
This selfish act of attention does not belong in a town meeting. However I am not surprised as when Melissa was the First Selectwoman  she had the American flag removed from the office and put in storage. I am mediately rectified that after I won the election. The flag proudly hangs in my office.

For the full video of the meeting, click here.

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