“I think at a lot of Iowans find that to be very offensive.”
Two Republican senators, Roby Smith and Jake Chapman, have brought forward a draft bill to limit the kind of flags that may be flown over public schools and government buildings in Iowa.
The move comes after the blue, pink and white trans flag flew over the Iowa Capitol building to honour Transgender Day Of Remembrance last November. The flag was raised for less than five minutes, but that was clearly too much for these Republicans to handle.
“I think that was completely disrespectful to the brave men and women who served in the military,” said Chapman, seemingly ignoring the fact that trans people can – and have – served in the military just like their cisgender counterparts.
“I heard from numerous constituents who were very concerned about the precedent that’s being set.
“My understanding is that there were some internal policies that perhaps were violated during that demonstration but I think it’s important that at least my constituents know that we’re taking this serious.
“It’s what the flag represents and the fact that it was taken down and another flag was flown instead of the American flag and the Iowa flag and the POW/MIA flag, I think at a lot of Iowans find that to be very offensive.”
According to Sioux City Journal, a state official said it’s not correct that the three flags were taken down, and that the trans flag was raised on a different pole.
Back in November, State Rep. Skyler Wheeler criticised the flag raising, calling it “another way that the Rainbow Jihad continues to give those of us who don’t agree with them a finger in the eye and push their beliefs on us”.
If the bill were to pass into law, the only flags allowed to fly from public buildings would be the United States of America flag, the State of Iowa flag, and the national league of prisoner of war/missing in action families flag.
Democrat senator Tony Bisignano called the bill “reactionary politics” and expressed his opposition.
“Leave America the way it is – free. When we react and we try to write a law to outlaw, restrict, intimidate – we’re going in the wrong direction and that’s the way I feel about this bill,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s necessary that we have a law designating what flags can be flown where. It’s a bill of exclusion and I don’t support exclusion and that’s why I’ll oppose that bill.”
The bill now passes to a Senate State Government subcommittee for consideration.