Virginia Sheriff Furious After Judges Tell Him He Can't Erect US Flag Display
Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson was furious after he was ordered by a local judge to take down a US flag-styled display on the lobby wall of the local courthouse.
The American flag display was a gift from members of the Portsmouth Fire Department and featured a fire hose coiled into a picture display and painted like Old Glory. A sign beneath it read, “A Tribute to Public Safety.”The court demanded that the display be removed from public property but the Sheriff was incensed at the decision.
Watson said he requested to have it mounted on the wall in the lobby of the courthouse but was shocked by what he was told.
Watson said he was told, “Not only do we not want it on the wall, we don’t want it in the courthouse.”Sheriff Watson said, “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.”
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.
He said they don’t want any display or memorial of it’s kind positioned in the lobby when people walk into the courthouse.
The judge said if you allow one type of display, then you will have to allow all types.