Frayed no more, new flags fly at Philadelphia building

Jonathan Stavin, executive vice president of PMC Property Group, said the flags on the building owned by his company were replaced Thursday afternoon.
Jonathan Stavin, executive vice president of PMC Property Group, said the flags on the building owned by his company were replaced Thursday afternoon.
Posted: June 14, 2014

The next time Lorie Surnitsky drives by what she calls her "gateway" to Philadelphia, she'll see two brand-new American flags flying high.

On Thursday afternoon, just two days before Flag Day, the shameful pair of torn and tattered flags displayed over the 2100 Parkway Apartments was switched out for new ones.

The Moore College of Art and Design professor had been trying to get them replaced since February. After her battle was chronicled Thursday in The Inquirer, several offers came her way.

When she checked her in-box in the morning, she found an e-mail from U.S. Rep. Robert Brady's office awaiting her.

The Democrat from Philadelphia wanted to give her two new flags for the former administration building of the School District of Philadelphia.

It's an issue that Brady said he was passionate about. Weatherworn flags, he said, are a disgrace.

"As long as I'm a congressman," Brady said, "I will continue to give her the two flags every time these flags wear out."

Surnitsky gave Brady the property manager's phone number so the congressman could place a call of his own, but it turned out that was not necessary.

Jonathan Stavin, executive vice president of PMC Property Group, said the flags on the building owned by his company were replaced Thursday afternoon.

He said they had already been purchased and were waiting to be swapped.

In February, Surnitsky, 74, started sending letters and placing calls to the property owner, city officials, and reporters. She was about to give up on her quest.

Now, she's planning to pose in front of the flags so her husband can take her photograph with them.

Readers on The Inquirer's Facebook page had offered to help her as well.

"I'll replace them," Rich Nicoletti commented, referring to the damaged flags.

"If you're going to go through the trouble of flying the flag, at least take [care] of it and dispose of it properly," Mike Shortall Sr. weighed in.

Surnitsky said she appreciates their support.

"It makes me feel that this long trek wasn't for nothing, that there are people out there that do care," she said. "That's the good part about this: that there's actually people that do care."

And she'll be keeping an eye on the new flags.

"Hopefully, our esteemed congressman will be true to his word," she said, "because any time I see a ripped flag, I'm going to call him up."


CFabris@phillynews.com

215-854-5607 215-854-5607

@CaseyFabris

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