Bruceton Mayor stirs up controversy for flying flag at half-mast, Facebook post

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Bruceton Mayor Bob Keeton has stirred up some controversy with the flying of the American flag at half-mast at city hall on Wednesday.

On the town’s Facebook page was a photo of the flag at half mast and these words that has the mayor’s name at the end:

“The town of Bruceton grieves for our Republic and our loss of freedoms. We mourn the victims of the Chinese plague and those that have suffered its depredations. We pray that God delivers and restores us and that we do not fall to the clutches of communism.”

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As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the post had more than 1,000 comments.

When contacted by Carroll County News-Leader editor Shirley Nanney, Keeton said that he was the one who lowered the flag at half-mast and that it would probably be placed in its rightful position in the afternoon or at least by Thursday morning.

When Keeton, who is an attorney with the Keeton Law Firm in Huntingdon, was asked by Nanney about the action, he offered another explanation of why he lowered the flag. Keeton claimed the post had nothing to do with the inauguration of President Joe Biden on Wednesday even though his post suggested otherwise.

He offered that he flew it for Paul Cooper, who he said was a man of diminished mental capacity and who was a resident of Life Care. Cooper died a few days earlier of COVID-19. 

“He was special,” he said. 

On the post at almost 4 p.m. Wednesday, there had been 318 shares with comments galore.

Cheryl Marshall Kelly had this to say about the mayor’s post:

“I moved down here with my husband in September of 2014. After him surviving stage 4 lung cancer we moved here for retirement. Sadly, in 2016 he passed away, but I stayed because I liked the townie aspect of this slower paced life. I made a few friends and have some wonderful neighbors not to mention my husband has family in the area. I’m really sad that the mayor of this town doesn’t respect my values or opinions. I don’t consider this a sad day of loss. I am looking forward to new possibilities. I pray for this great country we live in and pray for all those who have suffered loss due to the COVID-19 virus. I pray all would do their part to help get past this. Wearing masks and following CDC guidelines will help to get us there. I pray for our newly sworn in President and Vice President to represent us all, not just some of us.”

Joey Nunnery, who agreed with the mayor, had this to say about the mayor’s remarks on Facebook:

“Love it! A mayor with some balls to speak his mind and opinion. Draw the line in the sand. Most in America now days believes that a man does not have the right to speak freely, but he does! That’s the biggest problem with this country, everyone thinks it’s not ok to have an opinion if it “hurts” their feelings or is against their believes. Most in American need to learn to suck it up and grow a set.”

The Keeton law firm serves as the county attorney as well as the law firm that represents the Town of Huntingdon and the City of McKenzie.

Keeton reportedly made remarks at the December and January town board meetings implying that if Biden was elected president, America would fall into communism. 

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