Hampstead to Fly Protest Flag
In an act of protest, Hampstead Mayor Haven N. Shoemaker has ordered the Town’s municipal flag to be replaced by the historic Gadsen “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. Mayor Shoemaker will raise the flag after a brief ceremony at the War Memorial in Hampstead at 6 p.m., September 1. The timing of the ceremony coincides with anticipated cuts in state funding to local governments including Hampstead.
“We have the so-called stimulus which is nothing more than an unprecedented issuance of debt. We have ObamaCare. In Maryland, we have a complete failure by Governor O’Malley and the Legislature to balance the state budget,” Shoemaker said. “The $3.8 billion in federal money sent to Maryland was wasted on pork barrel projects and social program spending rather than on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Now the State is dumping their failure of fiscal leadership into our laps.”
Mayor Shoemaker directed the flag switch through his first formal executive order. “Normally, I would just call Town Hall and ask our folks to take care of something, but this is a little out of the ordinary.”
When asked what he hoped to accomplish through the symbolic change, Shoemaker was philosophical. “Maybe this won’t amount to anything. Maybe other local governments will decide to join us. In any event, the people in Hampstead will know that there is still one level of government left in America that is of the people, by the people and for the people.”
The Gadsen Flag has become a popular symbol of the recent Tea Party movement. The historic yellow flag features a timber rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me.” When asked how long he expected to fly the flags, Shoemaker shrugged and responded, “We’ll see.”