Virginia officials ordered removal of American flag from construction site ahead of July 4th

Per WDBJ7, State officials in Virginia 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.

A 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.

The Hill reports an American flag presented at a Richmond, Va., construction site was taken down almost as soon as it went up Friday after city officials voiced concerns that it could be a “target” for demonstrators and protesters.

Since the death of George Floyd in police custody in late May, protests and marches have continued throughout the nation. While most demonstrations have remained peaceful, officials worried the flag could pose a “safety risk” for the July Fourth weekend, according to The Washington Post.

“Over the past month we’ve seen buildings and structures around Capitol Square vandalized and flags, dumpsters, a bus and other items set ablaze during demonstrations around the city,” Dena Potter, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of General Services, said in an email Friday.

“When we saw the flag, we were concerned that it could become a target, so we told the contractor to remove it,” Potter said.

The decision to take down the flag upset a subcontractor, whose fireproofing company utilized tarps to create a giant flag — nearly the size of a one-story building — as a portion of a $300 million construction project.

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

Winston added that the flag was put up with the permission of the project’s general contractor, Gilbane Building Company. Gilbane complied with the order, and the flag was removed.

Winston disputed the request, writing that “the American Flag is a symbol of Freedom.”

“I’m all for the freedoms and liberty’s we have in this country, Protest, sure. Take a knee during the national anthem, whatever floats your boat. Marry who you want, absolutely! That’s what this flag represents! It’s bull [expletive] that you made us take it down.” he added.