Members of the Dominican community in Hazleton are celebrating the country's independence Thursday, but not in the way they had originally hoped.

A flag raising ceremony and vigil was held Thursday morning at the headquarters of La Casa Dominicana at 16 N. Laurel St.

Mayor Joe Yannuzzi denied a request from the group to raise the flag at City Hall.

He said it is against the law to fly any flag at a municipal building except the American flag, but he allowed the Irish flag to fly on St. Patrick's Day two years ago.

The Human Rights Commission says the mayor is required to treat all countries equally and the city could face a lawsuit.

Yannuzzi said flying the Irish flag was a mistake.