Michigan Rep Introduces Bill Banning Non-Government Flags from Flying on State Buildings

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Michigan State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids) introduced a bill on Thursday that would ban government buildings from flying flags other than government flags.

The bill comes shortly after the gay pride flag flew on the state capitol building for the first time in June, after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a proclamation making June 2019 Pride Month. The month of June marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which acted as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Afendoulis said it is inappropriate to fly flags related to social movements on government property.

“We shouldn’t be playing identity politics with the people’s property,” Afendoulis said in a statement. “It isn’t right.”

The representative echoed her sentiment about identity politics online.

“I don’t want to see a war between groups about what flags are being flown on the people’s buildings,” she said in a tweet. “I’d rather see a war on identity politics.”

The bill would allow only the state flag, the governor’s flag and the U.S. flag to be displayed on Michigan state government buildings.

The newly introduced bill received pushback on Twitter from Whitmer, who threatened to veto the bill.

State Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) also spoke out against the bill.

“People who think the Pride Flag will start a war need more rainbows in their lives, not less,” he tweeted.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel supported the flying of the Pride flag, saying online that “this simple gesture meant more than Rep. Afendoulis will ever know.”

“Some gay kid somewhere in Michigan didn’t throw himself off an overpass or cut her wrists because they saw the Pride flag flying from the Romney [building] that day,” Nessel tweeted.

Some are also noting that the bill, if passed as introduced, would also prohibit flags honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action.

“Please tell me it’s an oversight that your bill forbids flying the POW/MIA flag and honoring our around 88,00 men and women missing in action,” tweeted Peter Meijer, a candidate for Congress. Meijer is a veteran himself and a self-proclaimed conservative.

The bill has been referred to the House Government Operation Committee.

Afendoulis was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2018. She is currently running for Congress.

The Michigan representative was not available for comment. A representative from Whitmer’s office declined to comment past directing The Michigan Star to some of the governor’s previous Tweets in support of the Pride flag.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected].

 

 

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