Fetterman should stop flouting law

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman continues a juvenile campaign to fly flags from his Capitol office in defiance of state law. He should stop his foot-stomping and start behaving like a grown-up and a responsible elected official.

To mark the month of June as Pride Month, Fetterman chose to display a Pride flag from his office balcony directly over the main entrance to the Capitol. Representatives from the state Department of General Services removed the flag while his office staff was at lunch. It was a repeat performance.

Indeed, Mr. Fetterman has previously disregarded a law passed last year that prohibits the display of any flag on the exterior of the Capitol other than the American, Pennsylvania or POW/MIA flags.

In fact, the law was passed in part because of Fetterman’s penchant for flying flags from his office balcony in support of causes he champions, such as LGBTQIA+ rights and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

So this is how it goes: Fetterman hangs a flag or banner, General Services workers take it down. Repeat. A spokeswoman for the lieutenant governor said initially the workers would leave the flags folded in his office but they have since opted to confiscate them. To date, more than 10 flags have been removed.

This is a waste of everyone’s time, and Fetterman needs to put an end to it. He has made the issue more about political grandstanding than a show of support for a movement, and it cheapens the causes he hopes to highlight.

This is not about limiting Fetterman’s right to express his opinion.

He can, and should, display the flags at his home or on his property. He can make them available to other supporters. He can help garner support for legislation that benefits the LGBTQIA+ community. He can whip up support for legalized pot. But this childish game with the General Services Department borders on the absurd.

The law limiting flag displays, which was signed by Fetterman’s boss, Gov. Tom Wolf, makes some sense. Fetterman may consider his causes worthy endeavors, but what’s to stop a future lieutenant governor from hanging a Confederate flag from that balcony, or another banner that is offensive to most?

More importantly, does the lieutenant governor get to pick and choose which laws he respects and which ones he can simply ignore without serious repercussion? If the flag display law is so offensive to him, he should spearhead a campaign to amend it.

Otherwise, Fetterman should adhere to the oath of office he took and uphold the laws of the commonwealth.


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