Watch CBS News

National Park Service denies ordering removal of American flag at Denali National Park

Heavy travel expected after holiday weekend
Busy travel day expected as Americans head home after holiday weekend 03:02

The National Park Service (NPS) denied claims that park officials at Denali National Park ordered a construction crew to not fly the American flag over Memorial Day weekend.

The claim appears to have originated from a report by Alaska Watchman, a conservative news outlet, which cited an anonymous construction worker. The crew, the report said, was working on a 475-foot-long bridge at the park when it was allegedly told they could no longer fly the American flag from their trucks or heavy equipment.

On Friday, Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan sent a letter to the NPS director demanding an explanation for the claim and an investigation into the alleged incident.

"This is an outrage – particularly in the lead-up to our most solemn national holiday, Memorial Day, a time when Americans come together to honor those that gave their lives in service to our nation, while wearing our country's flag," he wrote in the letter. "The American flag, especially on Memorial Day weekend, should be celebrated, not censored by federal government employees."

Sullivan, who shared a copy of the letter on X, formerly Twitter, said "there is no federal regulation or law that I can conceive of that would ban the flying of the American flag on public land."

"It is absurd and defies all logic that a federal contractor, working on a project which is funded by American taxpayers, in a National Park – the week before Memorial Day – is prohibited from flying the American law. I cannot conceive of a federal law or regulation that mandates this," he finished the letter.

Mount Mc Kinley In Alaska, United States -
Landscape in Denali National Park. Jean-Erick PASQUIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

On Sunday, the NPS issued a statement denying the report, calling the claims "false."

"At no time did an NPS official seek to ban the American flag from the project site or associated vehicles," the statement said. "The NPS neither administers the bridge project contract, nor has the authority to enforce terms or policies related to the contract or contractors performing the work."

The statement continued: "The American flag can be seen at various locations within Denali National Park – at park facilities and campsites, on public and private vehicles, and at employee residences – and we welcome its display this Memorial Day weekend and every day."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.