A Virginia Sheriff is livid after a group of judges told him to take an American Flag display down from the lobby of the courthouse, WTKR reports.
Sheriff Bill Watson said he received the display as a gift from members of the Portsmouth Fire Department a few weeks ago.
The American flag was made of old fire hoses with a sign beneath it that reads, “A Tribute to Public Safety.”
Watson thought the display would be perfect for the lobby of the courthouse but when he requested to have it mounted there, he was told, “Not only do we not want it on the wall, we don’t want it in the courthouse.”
“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,” Watson told WTKR.
WTKR spoke with a judge who asked not to be identified. The judge said it was decided that the lobby of the courthouse was not an appropriate place for the display.
The judge explained that they didn’t want any display or memorial of it’s kind positioned in the lobby when people walk into the courthouse.
The judge added that if they allow one type of display, they have to allow all types and that having the display in the lobby sets the wrong precedent.
Watson was not satisfied with the explanation.
“They expect my deputies to put their life on the line for a judge,” Watson said. “If somebody was going to come into a courtroom with a gun, the deputy is supposed to stand in front of the judge and take the bullet, but yet they won’t let us have our flag, saluting public safety?
“To me, that’s a slap in the face.”
The judge said Watson could put the display in his office, which interestingly enough, is located on the first floor right next to the lobby.
Watson said that he would mount the flag in the window of his office and would go to jail before taking it down.