HATTERAS, N.C. — A “Trump 2020” flag landed two state employees week-long suspensions, according to The Charlotte Observer.
The controversy began when a flag, supporting the re-election of President Donald Trump, was hoisted on a state-operated ferry and spotted on July 27, according to WRAL.
The flag, which read “Trump 2020,” flew beside a North Carolina state flag and United States flag on a ferry in the Outer Banks.
The NCDOT Ferry Division’s Twitter tweeted on July 27, “This is a taxpayer-funded vessel owned by all the people of North Carolina. It is not a place for anyone’s political messages.”
NC General Statute 126-13 says that state employees cannot “utilize State funds, supplies or vehicles to secure support for or oppose any candidate, party, or issue in an election involving candidates for office or party nominations.”
According to the Observer, the boat was ferrying passengers from Hatteras to Ocracoke, and both the captain and a member of the crew decided to fly the campaign flag.
Both have been suspended without pay for one week.
NCDOT’s Ferry Division told the Observer that the suspensions were for “unacceptable personal conduct.”
The situation came to light after Facebook user Catherine Mitchell posted the photo to the North Carolina Ferry System Facebook page of the flag on July 26.
Trump campaign flag on N.C. ferry triggers social-media squabble, DOT investigation https://t.co/SIntaZQ0S4
— News & Record (@NewsandRecord) July 29, 2018