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    Boston Marathon organizers apologize for American flag on ground

    Daniel Romanchuk, of Urbana, Ill., holds the trophy after winning the men's handcycle division of the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
    winslow townson/AP
    The American flag is on the ground (right) as Daniel Romanchuk poses with his trophy.

    Jack Fleming, chief operating officer of the Boston Athletic Association, issued an apology Monday after the American flag was seen in a heap on the ground during the wreath and trophy ceremony for Boston Marathon men’s wheelchair winner Daniel Romanchuk.

    “We are reviewing our awards protocol to ensure that this does not happen again,” Fleming’s statement read. “The Boston Marathon has been an American tradition for more than a century and we take pride in the passion and determination that our participants, spectators, and volunteers from around the world display at our annual event.”

    Romanchuk became the first American to win the men’s wheelchair since 1993.

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    The flag was on the ground behind and to the right of Romanchuk while he smiled and posed for photos with his trophy.

    “Our flag is a symbol of freedom, unity, and community spirit — all of which are virtues that the [BAA] supports,” Fleming’s statement read.