- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - A Christmas lights display has been removed from a flagpole in a northern New Jersey town after the mayor raised concerns that it disrespected the American flag.

The display in Rutherford was organized by officials with a local landscaping company. The firm said it had permission from borough officials to string lights in the shape of a Christmas tree from a flag pole in the center of town.

But Mayor Joseph DeSalvo had the lights removed.

He noted that federal law mandates that the flag cannot touch anything, including the ground, water or merchandise. He also feared that the lights would prevent the flag from being lowered to half-staff for Monday’s recognition of Pearl Harbor Day.

The council plans to debate the lights issue at their Dec. 14 meeting.

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