The Secretary of State to the Governor of Rhode Island (San Souci)

Sir: It has been brought to the attention of the Department that, on February 22 last, a police officer hauled down the Portuguese flag that was flying over the Vice-Consulate in Providence. I understand that representations in the matter were made by the Vice-Consul and that, through the Mayor of the City, an apology [Page 768] was tendered to him, but that even though it has been explained that the action of the police officer was not intended as an insult but was due to a misunderstanding, the incident has caused much feeling among the Portuguese in this country and has been widely discussed in the Portuguese press.

Inasmuch as the matter has caused such widespread comment, and since any tampering with the National flag would almost certainly be considered in a very serious light by the Portuguese Government, I venture to suggest that it might be advisable for the State of Rhode Island to take some notice of the incident.

I have reason to believe that, if you should consider it appropriate to send your Aide to the Vice-Consulate to express the regret of the Government of the State, Portuguese sentiment would be satisfied and the incident might be considered closed.

I have [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes