RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia State Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) has called for the resignation of the state official who ordered a contractor to remove a large American flag off a building in downtown Richmond over July 4 weekend.
“It is outrageous that the Northam Administration demanded the American flag be removed from the site of the new General Assembly Building. It is outrageous to claim this symbol of freedom posed a ‘safety risk’ on July 4th weekend," Sen. McDougle said in an emailed statement. "The official in the Northam Administration who made this decision needs to step forward, acknowledge responsibility, and immediately resign, even if that individual is the Governor.”
Dena Potter, spokeswoman for the state Department of General Services, said state officials asked a contractor to take down the flag from the new office building. 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.
“Over the last month, the actions of Governor Northam and Mayor Stoney have systematically transformed Virginia’s capital city into a haven for anti-American activists,"McDougle said. "Refusing to enforce the rule of law, they have created an atmosphere where the most basic expressions of patriotism – the display of the American flag on Independence Day – is forbidden."
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 decision angered a subcontractor whose fireproofing company used tarps to make the flag.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.