Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson explains U.N. flag removal

The removal of the United Nations flag last week from its longtime position outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis was explained in a blog post by Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who led the effort.

“We owe no allegiance to the United Nations and its flag does not belong on the plaza and certainly not flying next to Old Glory,” Johnson wrote.

He said he’d first been contacted about the issue in 2009, soon after he was elected, but made no progress until now.

But a few weeks ago, conservative radio hosts Bob Davis and Tom Emmer discussed the matter on the air, and soon afterward, Commissioner Mark Stenglein said he’d co-sponsor a resolution to remove the U.N. flag and properly display the U.S. flag on the government center plaza. In the meantime, Commissioner Mike Opat brought an emergency resolution to the board, and it passed with little discussion, Johnson said.

The U.N. flag had flown on the plaza since 1986, when it was approved by a 4-2 vote.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Bruce Bruemmer on 04/05/2012 - 03:03 pm.

    Remember when you could be Republican and have a world view?

    This would have made Harold Stassen very sad.

  2. Submitted by Lauren Maker on 04/05/2012 - 05:30 pm.

    Hey Jeff–

    Last time I looked, Minnesota was still part of the United States of America. And the good ol’ USA is a member of the United Nations. That seems to fly in the face of your assertion.

    Remember that oath you took about upholding the Constitution and laws of the U.S.? I think treaties are covered under that as well. Might want to check that out.

    Of course, if Hennpin County has no vested interest in world peace, this action make perfect sense. Joe–could we have a breakdown of the actual board vote? Thanks.

  3. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 04/06/2012 - 04:19 pm.

    During the Bush/Cheney administration

    the official policy of the US was to weaken the United Nations and so find it easier to get our way everywhere in the world (as befits “The Greatest Nation In the World”).

    John Bolton, Bush’s appointee as Ambassador to the UN, as one of his first official acts submitted 700 changes the US was insisting upon before it would sign on to the Millenium Goals developed by Kofi Annan and other proponents of peace and development.

    And I believe it was in 2004 that the US and Zambia were the only two countries to vote against a plan to reduce the supply of small arms, and therefore many thousands of deaths, around the world. The plan took four years to prepare and failed because of these two No votes — bad for the international gun trade, apparently.

    The anti-UN sentiment seems to have become permanent among at least some members of the Right.

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