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Herbst Calls On Haddam Official To Resign For Kneeling During Pledge

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Melissa Schlag
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Haddam Selectwoman Melissa Schlag

A local official in Haddam, Connecticut, has apologized for calling the town “fascist and racist.” However, Democratic Selectwoman Melissa Schlag says she’ll continue to take a knee at town meetings during the Pledge of Allegiance to protest the policies of President Donald Trump. Schlag has been criticized by state Republicans, including one GOP candidate for governor.

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst called on Schlag to resign during an interview on Fox and Friends last week.

“She needs to resign immediately. You know one of the things the flag stands for, it stands for our freedom. It stands for democracy. It stands for the fundamental ideal that we can have differences of opinion.”  

Schlag says she first took a knee at a board meeting last month to protest the Republican President's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his hardline stance on immigration, and other policies.

Schlag says that her kneeling was not an act of disrespect to the flag but a silent cry for our country to be better. She told WSHU that she finds Herbst’s call on her to resign to be “disgusting.”

“I think that’s a ridiculous political ploy to garner votes from his base. That another elected official and somebody who actually wants to be governor of the state of Connecticut forcing somebody to quit their job as a public servant for exercising their First Amendment right is disgusting.”

Schlag acknowledges she made a generalization when calling the town fascist and racist, but says there are “strong veins of fascism and racism running deep in Haddam.”

The Selectwoman says she has no plans to seek higher office and says she's received harassment and threats over her protest.

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