Acting Capitol Police Chief Walter Lee said he made the decision Thursday morning not to fly the Gadsden Flag over the state Capitol tomorrow.
In a phone interview, Lee, whose department is in charge of flag requests, said they learned the flag was to be flown for political purposes and not for the stated purposes in the request.
After learning the flag was going to be used as part of the Tea Party Patriots press conference, Lee said he decided it would not be flown.
“The stated purpose in the request was to commemorate Patriots Day,” Lee said.
After learning the Tea Party would be using it as part of a press conference to announce a group of candidates, “it became political,” Lee said.
The state’s flag policy says: “Only flags of the: United States of America; a state of the U.S.A. or a political subdivision; the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; the U.S. Virgin Islands; any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.A.; an Indian tribe recognized by the U.S.A.; any foreign jurisdiction with which the U.S.A. maintains diplomatic relations or its political subdivisions, to include the United Nations; flags of recognized military organizations of the U.S.A. to include the VFW, American Legion, and POW/MIA flags.”
“The flag itself met the standard for being flown over the Capitol,” Lee said.
Tanya Bachand, state coordinator for the CT Tea Party Patriots said in a phone interview Thursday evening that the group will be at the Capitol tomorrow to raise the flag on their own flagpole after negotiations with the Capitol Police today failed.
Surprised by the controversy the historical military flag has caused, Bachand said, “I don’t know when liberty and personal freedom became so controversial.”
She admitted the group may have over stepped its bounds by holding a press conference in addition to the flag raising ceremony, but believes the flag that’s been around for 200 years should be flown.
She said it looks like the police will have to rewrite the flag policy because it seems to matter now who makes the request.