CLAD IN A FACE MASK against the bitter cold, Elaine Greene leads the Freeport Flag Ladies Tuesday morning as they took their usual post at the corner of Main and School streets in Freeport waving to passersby.

CLAD IN A FACE MASK against the bitter cold, Elaine Greene leads the Freeport Flag Ladies Tuesday morning as they took their usual post at the corner of Main and School streets in Freeport waving to passersby.

FREEPORT

After a disappointing day in court Monday where a judge denied legal protection against a man they say has harassed and terrorized them, the Freeport Flag Ladies were bundled up against the 2-degree weather and back at the corner of Main and School streets waving at passing vehicles. It’s what they’ve done every Tuesday for 14 years.

Elaine Greene, Carmen Footer and Joann Miller filed for a protection order against James Roux, and all of them testified Monday in West Bath District Court telling their own accounts of encounters with one another. Judge Beth Dobson, however, dismissed the harassment complaint.

Dobson did tell Roux to find another way to honor and respect his father that is more positive. The Freeport Flag Ladies have the right to wag a flag for the military or any other cause. Similarly he has the right to protest, she said, adding “your right does not extend to intimidation of another person.”

Greene speaks for the group of women and Monday night expressed disappointment at the decision and the court system.

On Tuesday, the group took its place along the street from 8-9 a.m. One woman drove by the flag ladies and said, “Glad you’re back!”

Asked Tuesday if the court decision will change the group’s mission or events, Greene said the Freeport Flag Ladies are not ceasing or changing their mission.

She said, “We were never ever against (Roux’s) mother holding a sign or anybody else. We are apolitical, nonpolitical in what we do. If you choose to hold a political sign, we ask that you be respectful. We will cross the street, you can have this corner anytime you want it. It’s not about your freedom of speech, we’re not here to take that away.”

Greene said she fears the message the court’s inaction sends to children, who might wonder what standing up to bullies gets you.

“And you know what? I honestly don’t know how to answer that,” she said.

The women dress in red, white and blue and stand at the street corner every Tuesday holding flags and waving — which is where their mission started and grew from there.

“We work with children, we go into churches, we go into all kinds of different groups to speak, but never to tell them what to think,” Greene said. “We share stories. We’re hoping that encourages something in their heart, that American spirit, that they get involved and do something positive with their life.”

Greene said she doesn’t care about anyone’s political affiliation, only where their heart is.

“My mission as a flag lady is not political and it never will be,” she said.

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