Posted at 03:28 PM ET, 06/14/2011

On Flag Day, Rep. Allen West in trouble for scuba diving with the flag

U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) holds a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach Tuesday afternoon. (Joshua Prezant)
Flag Day wouldn’t be Flag Day if someone didn’t get accused of misusing the flag.

This year, it’s Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who planted an American flag underwater on an artificial reef during a scuba diving trip with veterans off the coast of his Florida district over the weekend.

A local blogger claims West violated the “Flag code,” which says that “[t]he flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.” There is no penalty for violating Flag Code.

“He violated U.S. federal law ... and provided a pictorial of himself doing so,”the blogger wrote on Broward-Palm Beach New Times’s Web site.

West’s office defended the congressman, saying he participated in the event or bring attention to scuba diving near his district, and calling West’s actions “sign of respect for the flag.”

“He went diving with several disabled veterans who fought to defend the American Flag and this nation,” West’s communications director, Angela Sachitano, said in an e-mail to Politico.

“In addition, Congressman West would like to wish everyone a Happy Flag Day.”

West, who is a 22-year veteran Army officer, told the Miami Herald Sunday that “it’s important wherever we are, that the flag flies.”

By  |  03:28 PM ET, 06/14/2011

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