TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A day at the lake is a Labor Day tradition, but at Eagle Mountain Lake Monday there was a flap over a "Trump 2020" campaign flag that was hung on a flag pole on public land and quickly removed by authorities.
Dusty Gregg hung the flag, along with an American flag and a Texas flag, on an island in the center of the lake. He said he was trying to show his patriotism.
"We just wanted to hang some flags up because we were tired of nothing being on the flagpole," Gregg said.
The flagpole is located on Pelican Island, and Gregg, who owned a restaurant on the lake and has been in the area decades, said it has been abandoned for as long as he can remember.
He hatched an idea to hang flags earlier this summer and finally went through with the plan this weekend, enlisting friends to help bring a ladder out to the island and rig the flagpole.
Gregg said initially, he planned to hang a Back the Blue flag with the American and Texas flags but ended up using a "Trump 2020" campaign flag because it was the correct size.
"I'm proud to be an American. I'm proud to be a Trump supporter, too," Gregg said.
He shared pictures of the new flags on a lake Facebook group, where many supporters commended him, but some weighed in with their concern.
"What's the message here? Only Trump supporters are welcomed on the lake?" wrote commenter Elena Leal.
"I'm not trying to be provocative. I'm not trying to be offensive. I'm just trying to show people I have pride in a lake that I love," Gregg said.
The campaign flag flew less than 24 hours. The lake and island are managed by the Tarrant Regional Water District, who confirmed to WFAA that they asked law enforcement to remove it when they learned a political flag was flying on public land.
"They took it down because it was trying to promote a political campaign, which I understand. I'm fine with it," said Gregg.
But TRWD said following the incident, they will go a step further this week.
"The flag pole will be taken town... to avoid future occurrences," the organization said in a statement.
Gregg said he thinks that may be a step too far. He wishes the organization would instead begin to maintain a flagpole that has stood abandoned for decades. He hoped to hang a nonpartisan Presidential flag on the pole instead of the campaign banner, but ultimately he'd like to see patriotism on display at the lake.
"I had no idea it was going to cause this much controversy," Gregg said.
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