Des Moines, Iowa — Two Republican senators have advanced a bill to limit the kind of flags that may be flown over public schools and government buildings in Iowa.
The proposal comes after a pink, white and blue “Transgender Pride Flag” was flown over the Iowa capitol in November. At that time, Representative Skyler Wheeler of Orange City said the flying of that flag was an “egregious act of political aggression.” He is reported to have said that it’s a way that the “Rainbow Jihad” is sticking a finger in the eye of those who don’t agree with them.
Republican Senator Roby Smith of Davenport sponsored the bill and discussed it during a subcommittee hearing at the capitol.
If the bill becomes law, those are the only three flags that may be flown over schools as well as city, county and state buildings.
Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, opposes the bill. Bisignano says he went online and found a lot of people he called “homophobes” who objected to the pink flag flying over the Iowa Capitol on Transgender Remembrance Day.
Senator Jake Chapman of Adel, a Republican, says flags at public buildings should be about patriotism and unification.
The bill is now eligible for debate in a full Senate committee. Officials at the state universities are seeking some exceptions.
That’s Carolann Jensen, a lobbyist for Iowa State University. Only one group — the Iowa Association of Labor — is registered in opposition to the bill. The transgender flag flew over the capitol for about five minutes in late November at the request of an organization called Iowa Safe Schools.