Parents of students at Clark Elementary in Petworth may be wondering if their kids are going to have books or A/C when the school year starts. But they’ll have a flag.

The school’s flagpole, which is really just a massive cell-phone tower owned by Sprint posing as a flagpole, just got a new set of stars and stripes, replacing the tattered-and-torn flag that flew day and night through wind, rain, and even snow. That approximately 10-foot-across flag replaced a much punier model that was dwarfed by its massive, girthy staff.

Now the school’s returned to the puny model. The new flag is of a size that would work on a real flagpole. Again, this isn’t a real flagpole. So the combination looks ridiculous.

That the cell-phone tower is disguised as normal schoolyard accouterment probably has something to do with the fact that not everybody thinks it’s a great idea to locate such equipment near children. In return for letting the communications company install the tower on Clark property, Sprint forked over some bucks to the school system. Here’s hoping the folks at Clark spend some of that on schoolbooks and A/C.