American Flag Unwelcome in California Capitol April 15, 2009 Capital Resource Center As Tea Party patriots rallied outside the California State Capitol to oppose the increasing burden of government, Capitol security forces assured that no sign of disagreement would enter the Capitol building, including American flags. Capitol Resource Institute distributed hundreds of the flags to those assembled and was shocked to find out that the flags had to be discarded before entering the state house. "We could not believe that they would prohibit the American flag in the Capitol," said Karen England, Executive Director of CRI. "I am still not clear why this is prohibited. The guard at the door originally cited safety concerns, but after consulting with his superiors the rationale became a general prohibition on signs and banners." This is not the first time that CRI has had a run in with Capitol security over displays of patriotism. This past summer, students from CRI's popular City on the Hill leadership camp stopped in the Capitol rotunda to sing the National Anthem. This has become a tradition with no opposition until this last year. Armed security demanded that the students stop singing. After a strongly worded letter from attorneys at Pacific Justice Institute, the students were able to return and sing without interruption two days later. "I want to believe that this is just government out of control," said England. "But first the National Anthem and now the flag is banned from the Capitol building. It is hard not to conclude that there is an aversion to patriotism."