Bowling Green City Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash introduced an ordinance Monday that will prohibit the mayor from lowering the U.S. flag without the approval of the entire city commission or unless the mayor is otherwise following an order of the governor of Kentucky or the president of the United States.
The proposed ordinance comes after Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson ordered American flags to be taken down from poles on city-owned properties Friday as a precaution due to “outside groups” potentially coming to the city and targeting the flags. Wilkerson has declined to offer more details on the decision.
The decision to take down the flags, made without commission input, stirred wide backlash and spontaneous demonstrations Friday, and many individuals took it upon themselves to raise flags on city property.
The city returned flags to city property Saturday.
“I just can't imagine a scenario where we lower the American flag," Nash told the Daily News. "I believe in the symbolism of the flag. I believe in what the flag represents. I believe that, even if someone wants to argue that we fall short of the promise of what the flag represents, we should never remove the flag because we are always working towards that promise."
Nash added he is introducing the ordinance to make sure no elected official in the city has the ability to unilaterally make that decision any longer.
"I don't believe that the mayor had the ability to make the decision to begin with,but he did and some at the city followed his direction," Nash said. "What I want to do is make it crystal clear that these decisions are to be made by the Bowling Green City Commission, of which the mayor is a member."
Reached Monday night, Wilkerson declined to comment specifically on the proposed ordinance but did say he expected it to pass unanimously.
The next board of commissioners meeting is scheduled July 7. An ordinance requires three votes of the commission to pass.