Park Service says Denali National Park employee relayed flag complaint without authorization

a flag
An American flag flies at Denali National Park (NPS Photo/Ken Conger)

The National Park Service has clarified how a public noise complaint that led to an American flags removal from a construction worker’s vehicle on the road into Denali National Park reached the Federal Highway Administration.

The highway administration, which is administering a bridge project near Mile 45 of Denali Park Road, said last week that it asked contractor Granite Construction to have the flag removed.

A Saturday statement from NPS Alaska spokesperson Peter Christian says the agency has confirmed that a park employee notified staff at the highway administration about a visitor complaint about a flag “flapping” on the Park Road.

It says the employee asked if there was an “appropriate way to request it be detached from a contractor’s vehicle to limit wildlife and visitor impacts.”

According to the NPS statement, the employee contacted the highway administration without authorization, and without the park superintendent’s knowledge.

The flag removal drew backlash from Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, and spurred drivers to take a convoy of vehicles flying American flags into the park May 26.

According to the Saturday statement, park officials have taken “corrective actions to ensure future park and project communications follow proper procedures.”

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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