Garner baseball team’s patriotic jerseys to be allowed after controversey

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GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) – An American Legion baseball team based in Garner will be able to wear patriotic jerseys that were briefly at the center of controversy.

The jerseys are in an American flag pattern, with one shoulder covered with stars on a blue field and red and white stripes over most of the rest.

Chris Cook, the team’s coach, was told at a preseason coaches’ meeting that his players can’t wear the jerseys this season. The jerseys might get dirty as players compete, and that would be disrespectful to the national symbol, he said he was told.

But an American Legion official now says the prohibition was based on a misunderstanding of the group’s rules and the team will be able to wear the jerseys.

“It was a misunderstanding, and the issues that some of the committee had here in North Carolina were legitimate issues,” said Randy Cash, adjutant of the American Legion Department of North Carolina. “They weren’t just something frivolous, but at the same time it was not in keeping with what most people believe about flag etiquette.”

Cook said he’s happy the team will be able to don the red-white-and-blue uniforms this year.

“I’m excited. … Three years ago we got these jerseys, we got them and most of these kids are going to college to play baseball and they have no other reason to wear these jerseys than to honor these veterans,” he said.

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