Portsmouth, Virginia, Sheriff Bill Watson was ordered to remove the American flag from the county courthouse after local judges said placing the patriotic display in the lobby for visitors to see was not acceptable. The American flag is made from fire hoses and was donated by the Portsmouth Fire Department recently with a sign that reads, “A Tribute to Public Safety.”
Sheriff Bill Watson asked to have the American flag made from fire hoses mounted on the wall in the Virginia county courthouse lobby. The judges’ response to the request reportedly shocked the Portsmouth Sheriff.
“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.”
Local television station NewsChannel 3 asked one of the judges reportedly involved with banning the American flag from the courthouse. The judge who asked not to be identified reportedly told the television station reporter that “it was decided” that the lobby was “not the appropriate place for the display.” The judge also reportedly added that the judges do not want any type of memorial or display of any type placed in the lobby so that visitors see it when they walk into the building.
The Virginia Portsmouth County judge added that if you allow one kind of display in the lobby, “you will have to allow all types” of displays and it “sets the wrong precedent.”
Sheriff Bill Watson expanded upon his dismay that the American Flag cannot be displayed inside the Portsmouth County Courthouse.
“They expect my deputies to put their life on the line for a judge. 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 a bullet, but yet they won’t let us have our flag, saluting public safety? To me, that’s a slap in the face.”
The unidentified judge said Sheriff Bill Watson can hang the American flag, or whatever display he wants, in his office. The Portsmouth Count Sheriff’s Office is located on the first floor of a building located next to the courthouse lobby.
What do you think about the Portsmouth, Virginia, judges ordering the American flag display removed from the courthouse lobby?
[Image via: News Channel 3]