Mar 17, 2010
Army Col. Billy Buckner defends the decision and says it's a smart and sensitive decision:
“We are respectful as the invited guests of the Government of Haiti,” Buckner said. “Our commanders are smart and intuitively understand their mission here in Haiti and clearly the sensitivities that come with supporting the mission. In most cases, they have operated in a [counterinsurgency] environment in Iraq and Afghanistan and know how to interact with the people. Bottom line is our commanders are using their best judgment to focus on the mission.
“It is no mystery that U.S. forces are on the ground, and we proudly wear an American flag on our right sleeve,” Buckner said.
In The Navy Times Buckner says there is no "prohibition" from flying the flag:
There is no official prohibition from doing so there or at any of the U.S. operating bases supporting relief operations in Haiti — either by the military or the State Department, officials said. But, said Army Col. Billy Buckner, a spokesman for Joint Task Force-Haiti, “We have just chosen not to do so.”