The Boston Athletic Association issued an apology after the American flag ended up scrunched up on the floor during the medal ceremony that followed the men’s wheelchair race at Monday’s Boston Marathon.
As 20-year-old Daniel Romanchuk was recognized for his winning time, the flag was stowed away in the corner of the stage as the national anthem played. The flag was originally draped over Romanchuk’s shoulders. However, according to CBS Boston, a race official “removed the flag to place Romanchuk’s winner’s medal and crown on him, and in the process placed the flag on the ground.”
📹♿️🇺🇸MEN'S WHEELCHAIR WINNER📹♿️🇺🇸@Illinois_Alma alum Daniel Romanchuk receives his #BostonMarathon winner's wreath and trophy while The National Anthem is played in #Boston #WBZ #BostonStrong #BostonMarathon @bostonmarathon pic.twitter.com/8mkKTA9S4E
— Scott Sullivan (@SliceOfSully) April 15, 2019
“The Boston Athletic Association apologizes sincerely for the nature in which our Men’s Wheelchair Award Ceremony was held. We are reviewing our awards protocol to ensure that this does not happen again,” a statement from BAA chief operating officer Jack Fleming reads.
“The Boston Marathon has been an American tradition for more than a century and we take pride in the passion and determination that participants, spectators and volunteers from around the world display at our annual event. Our flag is a symbol of freedom, unity and community spirit — all of which are virtues that the Boston Athletic Association supports.”
The BAA hosts the marathon each year.
According to the U.S. flag code, the flag “should never touch anything beneath it,” including “the ground.”
Romanchuk, a student at the University of Illinois, became the youngest winner ever in the men’s wheelchair division of the race. He also was the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1993. He finished in a time of 1:21:36.
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