When a judge informed Sheriff Bill Watson of Portsmouth, Virginia that he could no longer hang an American flag in the Portsmouth County courthouse lobby, the police officer was enraged.
The American flag display had been donated to the courthouse by a group of firefighters, who added a display made of old hoses along with the sign “A Tribute to Public Safety.”
Sheriff Watson asked to have the display mounted on the courthouse wall, and he was stunned when it was denied.
“Not only do we not want it on the wall, we don’t want it in the courthouse,” the sheriff said he was told. He added that he felt the decision was “the most asinine thing” he’s ever heard in his life.
“They expect my deputies to put their life on the line for a judge,” Watson continued. “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 judge wished to remain anonymous, but he told reporters that he made his decision because officials do not want a display or memorial of any kind to be in the lobby of the courthouse.
“The judge said if you allow one type of display, then you will have to allow all types,” the local news reported. “The judge said having the display in the lobby sets the wrong precedent.”
It’s no surprise that the judge did not want to be identified, since his decision is blatantly un-American. We can only hope that all the negative press that the courthouse is being flooded with will force them to reverse their decision.