Statehouse Headliners: House Judiciary chair gavels down silent waving of American flag

By Guy Page

Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, told gun rights supporters at a public hearing yesterday evening to stop quietly waving small American flags.

The incident occurred at a well-attended, publicly-warned hearing in the hall of the House of Representatives on S.169, the Senate firearms bill. Rep. Grad reportedly told the shocked audience that the flags were “banners” and thus were unacceptable expressions of support for one side of the issue.

Guy Page

Gun rights supporters like Evan Hughes were told to stop silently waving flags this size at Tuesday night’s House Judiciary Committee public hearing on S.169, the firearms bill.

When the hearing began, the committee set ground rules for public comment that included “no displays in favor,” vice-chair Tom Burditt, R-West Rutland, said Wednesday morning. In the past, such rules have been interpreted to mean clapping, calling out, and waving large banners. Silently waving small American flags while seated was permitted at the Senate hearing in Randolph last month, gun rights organizers said this morning.

According to several people who attended the hearing, some opponents of S.169, while seated, began to quietly wave small American flags  in support of testimony supporting gun rights. Chair Grad announced that the flag-waving needed to stop because these flags were “banners.” She banged her gavel several times to emphasize the point.

In response, gun rights activist and military veteran John Des Groseilliers, of Hardwick, stood and pointed at the American flag that hangs in hall, to which the representatives pledge allegiance every morning, and said “that’s a banner.” Des Groseilliers, a funeral home director, is a U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador and a 2018 recipient of Army’s Public Service Commendation Medal, bestowed civilians for service to Army personnel.

Nevertheless Grad insisted the flag-waving violated the ground rules for public comment. The attendees stopped waving the flags.

The reverberations of Grad’s decision were on display this morning, in a tense Statehouse cafeteria exchange over the incident between Rep. Burditt and gun rights activist Evan Hughes.

“My father fought for that flag in three theaters,” gun rights activist Chris Bradley said in a Statehouse conversation Wednesday morning. “I am not a happy camper.”

House Judiciary briefly discussed S.169 this morning, then tabled further discussion.

CORRECTION: The Vermont Legislature says the pledge of allegiance daily, and Rep. Tom Burditt represents West Rutland, not Rutland Town.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Images courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR and Guy Page
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33 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: House Judiciary chair gavels down silent waving of American flag

  1. I am disgusted with the direction this state is going. The lawless are becoming more protected and coddled while the lawful are being further restricted and silenced. The unconstitutional theft and tyranny is starting show. Such a sad thing to see our state and its people withering away with our liberty and freedom.

  2. Never can I think of a time when our American Flag would not be appropriate. It would indeed, be wise to keep watch of Rep. Maxine Grad and others of her sort because they could be operating in sheep’s clothing.

  3. Given what’s happening in and to Vermont, by Montpelier since the late 60’s, one has to conclude that this state is NOT a part of America, but an individual Socialist State that has ignored both the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the State’s Constitution. It’s become a dictatorship. Socialist countries around the world have similar governments. and are failing. Look at how Hitler quickly changed Germany. Promised the people utopia, then you know the rest. It was too late to overcome.

    Some Socialist Montpelier doings:
    Gun Control
    Abortion, even after delivery
    Legislator corruption
    Legislative pay, perks & per diem fraud
    Outside state money and group-people influences
    Deteriorating properties and towns
    People moving out
    Allow bureaucrats to mindless control people without oversite.
    One of the worse state to live in
    No dominate business or employment
    Flatlander Governors
    High taxes: (income, SS, retirement and death taxes, sales, property, life’s necessities, sanctuary state, free drivers licenses to illegals, ignore people’s concerns, legislation to control people, education brainwashing of kids, unbalanced legislative districts, unfounded items to tax, land management, game management, unrealistic property assessments, one party dominance, 660 legislative Bills introduced)

    All of this happened in the last 60 years in a grand state that entered the Union March 4, 1791 that had prosperity and envy of the country until about 1965.

    VT is a row-less boat in the middle of the ocean making it’s own storm with a mindless government.

  4. By now we all know where Maxine Grad stands on the constitution, and above all, on the private ownership of firearms.

    Let’s see where this hypocrisy goes. We were at the State House to protest a phony law (S.169) that is formulated on the exaggerated claims that Mr. Black’s suicide was a spur of the moment event. Interestingly, the parents of Mr. Black appeared as the first two speakers for the evening. I don’t intend to question their grief, but I do question the appearance that they were there on their own volition…. I have little doubt that they were invited to speak, and by design, to “set the tone” for the evening.

    As we did with S.55, all of the pro-gun attendees were there asking Maxine Grad and her committee, as well as Dick Sears, Senate Judiciary, to protect our constitutional rights, and the clause, “shall not be infringed upon”. They have never taken that clause seriously and won’t now. They don’t care about the 2nd amendment or article 16.

    The interesting thing now is that these same left wing socialist legislators want to add to the VT constitution the same clause for abortion protection stating that a woman’s rights for all aspects of reproduction “shall not be infringed upon”. What a hoot! They couldn’t give a rat’s derriere about a 250 year old amendment regarding firearms that protects the 1st amendment for the right to free speech, yet they foolishly think the statement regarding “no infringement” regarding abortion will be cast in stone and never be ignored, challenged, changed, etc. Good luck!

    See what I mean about hypocrisy? You can’t make this stuff up!

    • We, as a nation, had better take a deep look at the collective policy actions and incidental remarks of not only the VT legislature, but other progressive states’ legislatures, as well as their US legislative reps, and start talking with friends and neighbors about the clear parallels they reveal with the “how to” manual for proselytizing to communist ideology.

  5. I called the Sgt. at Arms and nicely expressed my displeasure with this. I also contacted my Rep. Laura Sibilia, and basically the answer they are standing behind is that it stopped at least two people from being able to testify. Was it the “Silent” flag waving, or was it that Maxine Glad hates our flag, and had the floor to keep complaining about it? “Silently waving the flag takes away from no ones time to speak that I know of, so I guess it must be Maxine must hate flag waving. She also called OUR flag a BANNER!

    • “I guess it must be Maxine must hate flag waving. She also called OUR flag a BANNER!”

      The Fascist Taliban in the state house hate the Constitutions,Vermont and federal,they hate America as it stands and are in the process of remaking it in their stead,so yes they would by default hate Americas flag.

    • THEN she needs to move back to NY where she came from! Vermont can do a lot better without her anti-flag attitude.. Our Flag is not a “banner” if she can not figure that out then she better get out of our government, a matter of fact she would do very well in CA.

      • Unfortunately the flag is a banner, all flags are banners our national anthem has the word banner in “BANNER YET WAVE” near the end. Sorry folks it’s a banner.

    • Well that’s a crock as they ended two minutes early. It was stated by the committee that they were calling the last witness. He finished, their meeting was done. Then as everyone is standing and leaving on that previous statement from the committee it was stated well I was going to call or offer for one more to testify. What a bunch of arrogance those people have. Same type of treatment received by us as Vietnam Veterans.

  6. I didn’t stop waiving my US flag! To hell with her, and the horse she rode in on. I served my State & Country under that flag in several campaigns and she has no right to tell me or anyone else that it’s a banner or yell “no bantering”.

    And to you Maxine, I saw your glaring eyes as your scowled at me. Go pound sand! I recommend that you reassess why you are in Montpelier and sitting in the legislature, it certainly is not for why many of our forefathers set up our government and Constitution.

    • I’m with you – served under that flag for two and a half decades while she and her cohorts were plotting how best to strip our rights away. People like Maxine detest our military folks because they know we won’t settle for her happy crap.

    • Michael, you may have seen her glaring eyes and scowl, but I seen her escorted to her Mercedes, police escort ………………..what a waste !!

      Arrogance is her middle name.

  7. We clearly need an amendment to the state constitution that allows referendum and recall. — Nothing else will save Vermont from these hate-America politicians.

    • Your suggestions time has come,the chaff of which there is much needs to be cast off/aside.

    • Agreed, wholeheartedly!

      Petition to recall, requiring at least 40% of a district’s voters, would be a great club to wield to minimize the Grads in positions of dominance. The elitist mentality in Montpelier has to go — back whence it came.

      Referendum actions could address removal or revision of unjust or intrusive legislation.

      In addition to the above, such actions would divert energy from other progressive mischief
      proposals.

  8. Call the VT Sargent at Arm’s at 1-802-828-2228 to express your outrage. Keep it civil, and you can expect a call back from the woman herself.

      • Gary

        I called first thing Wed.morning,Crickets. Don’t hold your breath waiting to hear back.

    • I called and expressed my feelings very nicely (which I had to bite my tongue). I said my father was in WW ll and the Koren War, my husband was in Vietnam and my son was in Iraq and all 3 fought under the American Flag and it’s not a “banner”. . Their casket was coved with the U.S Flag, not a “banner”. and they gave us the right to wave our flag anywhere and anytime. I have not heard back from her and doubt I will. She is a coward..

  9. Are you AMERICAN or are you a DEMOCRAT?????
    Should be asked of all entering the state house just as a reminder.
    (there are a few good Dems but they should really change to indi
    to not get tagged by the leftarded faction that now controls
    the dimwit party)

    The Grad flatlander wench is a strong supporter of Planed Death of Parenthood who sells ARMS unlike the NRA which don’t, Murdering Babies even after born, Black LIES matter, But is for Taking away
    your 2nd amendment rights… Typical Fascist Leftard flatlander control freak..

    • With the news Friday 03/29/19 of the Commiefornia magazine ban being overturned as unConstitutional,the judge used this quote, Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts. “The judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy.”

      http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Duncan-2019-03-29-Order-Granting-Plaintiffs-MSJ.pdf

      I wonder how Vermont’s Leftards and particularly the Fascist Taliban in the state house are going to deal with Vermont’s own news of S 55 /act 94 being over turned as Repugnant to the Constitution,because It’s Coming,if Tuesday night is any indicator of how the chair woman acted.

      • The unfortunate part of this is it only takes a couple of months for these megalomaniacs to push a bill through to become law, and it takes years with the courts to undo the damage.

        While I applaud Judge Teachout’s recent decision that a person doesn’t have to become a criminal in order to challenge the constitutionality of a law, I’m shocked it’s taken a year to reach that point.

        • The legislature and mr. rock solid conservative governor were warned that each and every infringement/law they voted for in S 55 was indeed unConstitutional,would eventually be overturned. As such,they in their zeal to subjugate Vermonters rights would hear none of it.Yes the wheels of justice turn slow,example Commiefornia magazine ban has been in place over twenty years. Hopefully Vermont will Not take that long before standard capacity magazines once again flow into Vermont,to “We The People” of Vermont.

  10. Prohibition of applause and or American flags as to speech.

    The Fascist Taliban of the Left holds a public hearing in the state house on a infringement of my civil right and then further infringes on another of my rights,the right to free speech and chastises me for my expression of it.

    The way I see it,I can clap,boo, or wave a American flag,not a banner which by the way they didn’t pledge allegiance to before the hearing,in expression of speech, as long as I’m not endangering some one else by doing so.
    This draconian control has to come to a end,perhaps by filing suit of violating participants right to speech,naming speaker Grad .

    These elected public servants are at the employee of We The People of Vermont and as such are held accountable for their actions in the performance of that duty,they seem to have forgotten that.

  11. Another graduate of that fine institution known as Vermont Law School and another damned transplant from New York City.
    Vermonters, you still outnumber these transplants. Why in hell do you continue to vote against your own interests and elect these jerks? Do you believe that they are going to give you something free? Do you think that they are somehow going to give you power or prestige? They are ruining everything that once made Vermont special and you are helping them along the way. Your jobs are leaving, your taxes are rising, your freedoms are being crushed and you are voting for anyone with a D or P after their name without even thinking about the consequences. God help Vermont.

  12. Yes, I attended this House Judiciary Committee Hearing, just let me say I have never seen
    anything so missed managed or slanted in my life.

    Fist off parties, had to enter separate doors, why ?? and then we all were told they would be
    not clapping or booing and no banners or signs, Ok…….

    But then to be” Reprimanded ” for waving a 4×6 inch ” American Flag ” is downright appalling,
    these Liberal Politicians should hold their heads in shame. The Chair Rep. Maxine Grad should
    not be heading any Committee arrogant, to say the least, these people forget who they work for.

    The other thing that is so disrespectful, is that you never get any response from this Committee
    on any correspondence. As a taxpayer, if I take time out of my life to write a note or a concern I
    expect something, even a one-liner…………..

    I now understand why waving the flag was an Issue, Maxine’s anti-gun crowd had nothing to
    wave, no flags, that goes along with there Anti Gun, Anti Constitution, Anti Article16 mindset.

    Vermont wake up, we have 100,00 gun owners we need to really gather together or these
    Liberal fools will continue to take, take, take !!

  13. You are a disgrace to the office you hold!! you are no more american than the muslims in d.c.!! you should be thrown out of office and if everything goes well you will not serve another term! vote the traitor out!!

  14. Seriously?? What is up with that?? She was disturbed by the American flag? What harm was that, WHY is she still in office??

  15. Oh Maxine Grad. Did the PATRIOTIC waving of our national symbol trigger your Un-American nerve?
    What a shame you forgot that there is a thing called “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” granted to us by the 1st Amendment and that people have the freedom to express themselves.
    Maybe you need a lesson in American History and what it means to take an OATH OF OFFICE. #802VTALLIANCE.

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