By now you’ve all heard about the flag controversy at the University of California-Irvine, where the student government voted to ban flags, including the American flag, in student government offices. While a higher student body vetoed that measure, the debate on the university’s campus is not over.
Now, on the East Coast, we’re seeing a similar controversy brewing at a courthouse in Virginia.
Portsmouth County, Va., Sheriff Bill Watson says he is furious after a group of judges told him to take down an American flag display.
Sheriff Watson said his agency got the American flag display as a gift from members of the Portsmouth Fire Department a few weeks ago. It’s made of old fire hoses with a sign beneath it that reads, “A Tribute to Public Safety.”
Watson said he requested to have it mounted on the wall in the lobby of the courthouse but was shocked when he was told by the judges, “Not only do we not want it on the wall, we don’t want it in the courthouse.”
Watson said, “I just can’t believe that they don’t want to display the American flag in a courthouse, I mean that’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
NewsChannel 3 spoke with a judge who didn’t want to be identified about the issue. The judge told us it was decided that the lobby of the courthouse is not the appropriate place for the display.
The judge told News Channel 3 the Sheriff can hang whatever he wants in his office, which is located on the first floor of the building next to the lobby.
I am in full agreement with the sheriff—this is completely asinine. This is the United States of America and anyone should be able to display or fly the American flag proudly wherever they’d like.
The sheriff told the local news channel that he plans to display the flag in the window of his office. And kudos to him for saying he’d rather go to jail over it than remove the flag.