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September 12th, 2011

Old Glory Not Welcome at 9/11 Interfaith Service in Des Moines

A massive American flag hung from 1 World Trade Center, one of the four new high-rise office buildings being constructed on the World Trade Center site.

In Arlington, Virginia, another massive American flag was draped on the side on the Pentagon.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the American flag shared the stage with President Obama and two of his predecessors.

Closer to home, ‎2,977 American flags were planted in the Capitol grounds to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11.  Two fire trucks also hoisted a large American flag from their booms.

While Old Glory was prominently displayed across the nation yesterday, there was no room for her in at the Greater Des Moines Interfaith Service commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.

It’s bad enough that our flag was wasn’t displayed at the event, but the organizers actually refused to let Old Glory in to the service.  Mark Finkelstein, a representative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, which was a participating organization in the Interfaith Service, left yesterday’s 9/11 service when organizers refused to incorporate an American flag on the stage of Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University.

Finkelstein wrote the following on the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines’ Facebook page:

Interfaith Alliance refused to place an American flag on stage at the 9-11 commemoration. There may be many facets to the meaning of 9-11 but to divorce the occasion entirely from embracing its impact on our nation is disrespectful and unnecessary. I will not stay under these conditions. contacted Sarai Schnucker Rice, the Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council for comment, and we are still awaiting a response.

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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