‘The flag should never be considered political’: Gov. Murphy suspends removal of informal turnpike flag displays

Gov. Phil Murphy has overruled the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's decision to remove informal displays of the American flag from highway overpasses, meaning the area at the Port Reading Bridge in Woodbridge can be lined with flags once again.

News 12 Staff

Sep 9, 2020, 9:41 AM

Updated 1,322 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy has overruled the New Jersey Turnpike Authority's decision to remove informal displays of the American flag from highway overpasses, meaning the area at the Port Reading Bridge in Woodbridge can be lined with flags once again.
Hundreds showed up over the turnpike Sunday to protest the Turnpike Authority's announcement. The organization announced it would take down all flags, including the American flag, from the bridge, claiming it stemmed from complaints about the "Thin Blue Line" flag, which is in support of police officers. But then the Turnpike Authority changed its reasoning, saying it'd remove all of the flags.
Gov. Murphy announced that the removal of flags would be suspended and that he did not like the idea during Tuesday afternoon’s coronavirus briefing.
"I didn't like what I heard,” says Gov. Murphy. “We are the greatest nation on earth, even though we're far from perfect, and our flag represents that nation. I think we should be proud of our flag at every step, again, even though we have a long way to go to perfect our union and I stand with the flag."
Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried thanked the governor for allowing the flags to return, saying in part, “The flag should never be considered political. It is an institution on to itself. It is the first thing people receive upon receiving citizenship and the last thing a family receives when someone passes in service to our nation."
The flags are still gone for now. The Robbinsville PBA will re-hang the flags on the overpass Friday on the 19 anniversary of Sept. 11. The event starts at noon and is open to the community.
State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon says the proliferation of many types of flags poses safety and legal concerns, but he says he would have liked officials to collaborated on a legislative solution.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.
 


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