A town in New York has rallied together after some tried to put a stop to a plan to paint a U.S. flag mural on the wall of a building.
The plan to paint the Old Glory mural was floated by the owner of a pizza shop in downtown New Paltz, New York. But Maria Lisante, owner of La Bella Pizza Bistro, was surprised when she was met with protests from people who said the U.S. flag mural was a bad idea.
As Fox News reported:
Maria Lisante… didn’t expect any pushback. But some in the community were offended by the idea because the mural is across from a middle school and would force the kids to look at the American flag, which they call a symbol of hatred and oppression.
Seriously? Some worried that it would upset our children if they were “forced” to see the flag every day?
What kind of un-American creep would even think that?
But some members of the community rallied to the pizza shop owner’s side.
Lisante’s friend Joey Garcia, a New York state corrections officer and Army National Guard veteran, organized an “American flag appreciation walk” to rally the community together and show their support for the flag, military, law enforcement, and the country.
“To me the flag represents many things: freedom, compassion, strength, and pride to name a few. In my opinion, we live in the greatest country on earth,” Garcia told Fox News. “But lately our Flag seems like it’s under attack. People today speak out against our flag and country so much and want to only point out what they feel is wrong with it. I understand and respect their right to their opinions, but I feel like those of us who do not feel that way have a voice too and deserve to be heard.”
The patriotic demonstration grew out of an effort to raise money on GoFundMe to pay for the materials and an artist to paint a vintage-looking mural of the American flag on the brick side wall of the pizza shop. Lisante said she got approval from the mayor, who told her to do a GoFundMe page and make the mural a community event.
Close to 500 people showed up to the flag rally Sunday afternoon, while a handful of protestors, who identified as anti-fascists, held signs like “Yes, I’m anti-AmeriKKKan” and “Stop Pretending your Racism is Patriotism” and chanted: “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”
Fortunately, the patriot rally came off well despite the anti-American protesters.
The folks also started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to paint the flag mural despite the anti-American protesters.
The page has already raised over half the funds needed to paint the flag mural.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.