Gov. Whitmer pledges veto of bill that limits flying only state and federal flags on state buildings

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"My veto pen is ready"

That's Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's response to a newly introduced bill that would restrict which flags could be flown on Michigan government buildings.

In a tweet shared earlier, Whitmer responded to coverage of HB 4820, the legislation introduced by State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Twp, which would mandate only state and federal flags be flown on government buildings. The legislation is in response to Whitmer's order to fly a rainbow flag over the Romney building's entrance last month, in honor of Pride month.

After a screenshot of her press release was tweeted out, Afendoulis said she didn't want to see a war between groups about what flags are flown on people's buildings.


The legislation was introduced on the House floor Thursday. "It is inappropriate to display flags supporting social movements on property owned by state government," reads a news release.

"We shouldn't be playing identify politics with the people's property," Afendoulis said. "It isn't right."

The freshman state representative is currently running for Justin Amash's House Congressional seat in the 3rd District in 2020. 

In response to the bill's introduction, the Michigan House Democrats released a statement Friday afternoon blasting the legislation. "The representative, serving in her first term, recently announced her intention to run for Michigan's 3rd Congressional seat, in a hotly-contested primary where candidates are jockeying to prove themselves conservative enough to dominate the now-crowded field."

The news release cited several Democratic lawmakers that blasted Afendoulis' bill.