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Readers: Havre de Grace Supports Decorating Lafayette Statue

Most Havre de Grace Patch commenters agreed with adding some flair to the general in Legion Square.

From their responses to our Question of the Week, most Havre de Grace Patch readers support decorating the city's statue of General Marquis de Lafayette.

Lafayette is credited with naming Havre de Grace and so, near the ferry crossing where he first laid eyes on it in 1782, the city dedicated a statue to him in 1976.

Since then, Lafayette has been a "decorated" general, with outfits sometimes changing with the seasons. On Oct. 13, with the Baltimore Orioles having just lost the American League Championship Series to the Yankees, Lafayette wore orange streamers and a black Orioles hat.

One reader claimed to know the Orioles outfitters.

"I know...who did this. They...have gone back and [they] took it all back down..." Diana Saulsbury wrote on Havre de Grace Patch.

"Happy for the O's but that was not in good taste nor was it a very good job to begin with," Brian wrote on Patch. Some others said they didn't think it was appropriate to dress the statue, posting comments on the Havre de Grace Patch Facebook page that it was disrespectful.

"It's all good clean fun," Saulsbury wrote on Patch. "No one defaced him."

The Havre de Grace Police Department did not receive any reports about the statue, according to Julie Morgan, spokeswoman for the department.

"If they spraypainted it black and orange—where it would cost money to have it replenished—then [it could be considered] malicious destruction" of city property, Morgan said.

The majority of readers defended the action of adding to the statue.

"If done tastefully, it's absolutely appropriate and good for our community," Daryl Newhart posted on Patch.

"In my travels I've been to Brussels a few times, and they have a very famous statue there called the Manneken Pis. It's always interesting to see what outfit (he has hundreds) he's wearing depending on the season or local event," Newhart added. "Perhaps we could tie a theme into 1st Fridays a few times a year (O's opening in April, Ravens in Sept) and dress him appropriately those days."

Some Havre de Grace readers said that adding color to the statue brought additional positive attention to it.

"There are undecorated statues in towns across the nation and for the most part they are ignored," wrote Jay Donoghue on Havre de Grace Patch. "HdG, however, is a vibrant, intelligent community full of fun that likes to reflect current events by decorating the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette."

Another reader agreed and said the spirit that emanated from the decoration did more than elevate Havre de Grace.

"...dressing the statue keeps the Marquis' name alive. I'd rather see the statue decorated than neglected. Go, Lafayette!" Dr Marianne Fridberg added.

Lafayette was designated a Major General by Congress after the French royal traveled to the United States to fight as a volunteer on behalf of the colonists for their independence against Britain in the Revolutionary War.

Havre de Grace Patch commenters said that over the years since his installation in Legion Square, Lafayette has been decorated for First Fridays, New Year's, Christmas, Halloween and homecoming.

Mary LouSouthall October 23, 2012 at 03:14 PM
shortly after the statue was put up ,my now grown children were out drinking and put a scarve that I had knitted anound his neck. They thought he was cold. It made the papers and I never got the scarve back. Do i have to sign my name??????
Mary LouSouthall October 23, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I see my name up there. I get my patch at my verizon address.
Eric Crouse October 26, 2012 at 08:50 PM
They forgot to mention Lafayette's Mardi Gras outfits :0) Viva La Lafayette!

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