THE GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGHWAY FLAGS WILL CONTINUE TO FLY!
On January 23, 2019 a concerned citizen contacted the city concerned that American flags were being flown on city property without permission. The Deep Creek Ruritan Club obtained permission to display the flags from Virginia Dominion Power, owner of the poles, in 2003. Prior to a 2018 sign ordinance being adopted, the Deep Creek Ruritan Club was not required to obtain permission from the city. The Ruritans were not aware of the change and had not requested permission from the city to fly the flags. The Ruritan Club was contacted by a city representative and we were directed to take the flags down.
Mayor Rick West, City Manager James Baker, City Councilman Steve Best and City Attorney Jacob Stroman met with Deep Creek Ruritan Club leadership on January 28 in connection with concern regarding the flags on George Washington Highway.
City Manager Baker emphasized that it was not, and is not, the city's goal to limit displays of the American flag. Under a sign ordinance adopted in 2018 by City Council, flags are considered "snipe signs" and may not be displayed, unless authorized by the City of Chesapeake. In order to make us "legal" and comply with the existing ordinance, City Attorney Stroman had a Memorandum of Agreement drawn up to authorize the Deep Creek Ruritan Club to display the flags on patriotic holidays just as we have been doing since 2003. We will agree to maintain and be responsible for the flags just as we have been doing since 2003. The Ruritan Club president signed this agreement at the January 2019 meeting.
The Deep Creek Ruritan club is appreciative of the many telephone calls, memos and texts from local residents who supported the flags. The City of Chesapeake and all its officials value, honor and support the display of the American flag. The Deep Creek Ruritan Club appreciates to city's offer to proactively resolve this matter and we particularly thank Mayor West and Councilman Best for their strong support.