Thousands of North Carolinians will rally in the state capital of Raleigh tomorrow against government intrusion and excess, but they can't carry flags on poles. The reason? The nanny state that is Tar Heel government has decreed that poles could be used as weapons.
The Raleigh News & Observer has the details:
The prohibition applies to the American flag, North Carolina's state flag or anything else carried on a pole more than a foot in length. Scott Hunter, chief of the State Capitol Police, said that the group will be allowed to carry tiny flags of the kind handed out at parades and Fourth of July events.
"It's sad our country has come to this," said Laura Long, the Apex woman who applied for the permit on behalf of Triangle Conservatives Unite.
The ban on flagpoles and signs with posts that could be turned into weapons was added in September to the permit from the N.C. Department of Administration that groups need to hold demonstrations or events on state-operated grounds.
The rule states that demonstration participants can't carry "signs, banners, posters and other similar displays" attached to metal, wood or plastic posts. That includes flagpoles more than a foot in length, according to Jill Lucas, a department spokeswoman.
The public official responsible for the restrictions said they were put in place "to prevent injuries." Dang, skippy, what about all the cars those deranged protesters will use to reach the event? A two-ton hunk of metal moving at 45 m.p.h is far more dangerous than a foot-long flag poll, yes?
As my boss points out over at Right Angles this morning, it's the unions and leftist thugs, not tea partiers, who have turned violent in response to the grassroots movement — using the N-word, biting people's fingers off, and beating them up. Apparently, though, officials are more vexed at the possibility of a wheelchair-bound granny unloading on someone with a flag pole.
In the meantime, I'd like to see Raleigh try to enforce this policy at a gay pride parade.
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