The mayor of a Tennessee town on Wednesday had the U.S. flag lowered to half-staff during the inauguration of President Joe Biden, saying he was mourning the ”loss of freedoms” he thinks will come, Newsweek reports.
“The Town of Bruceton grieves for our Republic and our loss of freedoms,” Mayor Robert T. Keeton III wrote in a Facebook post via the town’s official account.
“We mourn the victims of the Chinese plague and those that have suffered its depredations,” he added. “We pray that God delivers and restores us and that we do not fall to the clutches of communism.”
The divisive nature of the decision drew criticism from some town residents in the comments.
“This is a flagrant incitement of anger and disunity on a public platform,” wrote one user, Bethany Hollingsworth. ”The mayor is not The Town of Bruceton. Was this statement approved by the city council?”
She added, “It seems like it is pandering to the worst characteristics of human nature. I expect better of my elected representatives.”
Another user, Christine Grogan Taylor, wrote: “This is one of the most unpatriotic things I have ever seen. As friends and neighbors die from COVID and our nation hurts, you use the town page to air your personal grievances? This is not the way to promote Bruceton as a nice place to live. Shame on you.”
Others, like a user named Joey Nunnery, were more supportive of the mayor’s actions.
“Love it!” he wrote in a comment. ”A mayor with some balls to speak his mind and opinion. Draw the line in the sand. Most in America now days believes that a man does not have that right to speak freely, but he does!”
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