Officials in King County, Washington, removed a memorial featuring the stars and stripes because one resident called it “offensive.” But citizens incensed over the removal flocked to the site and immediately put the display back up.
King County road crews recently removed a flag-festooned, roadside memorial erected to celebrate America’s military veterans. The display had been sitting in the same spot near Preston, Washington, for several years, residents say. But county officials say the memorial was removed after several years there because someone complained, Fox 57 reported.
A county spokesman said the memorial was finally taken down because it may have been a “distraction” for motorists, though why it was allowed to stay up for so long before being taken down was not answered.
Officials also insisted that despite its years of being in the same location, whoever erected the memorial never got permission to put the display beside the roadway.
None of this mattered to local residents, who were incensed that the county removed the long-standing memorial.
“People were really, really upset about this,” one local resident told Fox 57.
Supporters of the memorial were also upset that a single complaint could cause the display to be removed against the will of the majority.
“One person says they don’t like it, and they take it down. I don’t understand,” a Preston resident said. “We live in the United States of America. This is our flag. Why is it offensive?”
Officials said they would try to find a solution to the dilemma but noted that if they make an exception for this display, it will be harder to enforce rules elsewhere.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.