US flag ordered down at construction site; could be ‘target’ for protesters

Around the South

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia officials ordered the removal of a large American flag from a construction site ahead of the Fourth of July, calling it a potential target for people protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

Dena Potter, spokeswoman for the state Department of General Services, said officials asked a contractor to take down the flag from a new office building for state lawmakers under construction in Richmond.

She said in an email that buildings have been vandalized and flags, dumpsters and a bus have been set on fire during demonstrations in recent weeks.

Potter said the state doesn’t object to a standard-sized flag that’s still flying on a crane at the site. But she said the larger one would have been easier to reach.

The Washington Post reports that the decision angered a subcontractor whose fireproofing company used tarps to make the flag.

“Since when is this flag, on this weekend, IN THIS COUNTRY, a Target!!” Eric Winston of American Coatings Corp. wrote in a Facebook post, according to the newspaper. “Let me guess, if I had a black lives matter flag it would be ‘ok’!?”

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