On Monday, Steve Williams expanded his clean-up campaign by announcing that all outside banners, flags, and other signs displaying West Virginia University or their colors blue and gold must be taken down. The law goes into effect on August 31, 2013 which is also the season opener for Marshall University's Thundering Herd. The penalty for each outside WVU sign is $500.
Recently Williams banned couches and inside furniture from being placed on porches, outlawed high weeds and high grass, and has enforced a policy that tickets property owners for having excess trash.
Mayor Steve Williams said, "Huntington residents have always felt like Marshall University has been slighted by the state in favor of WVU. Marshall built this city and is what keeps it going. It is a blight on our city and an insult for someone to hang WVU signs or the blue and gold flags within city limits. It's a reminder of the discrimination MU faces from our own state. If someone wants to hang WVU signs on their property, let them move to Morgantown and do it. A main reason why I banned couches from porches in the city was because I was afraid drunken WVU fans would set them on fire after a WVU victory."
Huntington resident Dan Nehlen disagrees with the new ordinance, "The ordnance is an infringement on the first amendment. We, as Americans, have the right to root for the team of our choice and to show our support. Mayor Steve can ticket me all he wants but I'm flying my WVU banner high and proud."
Marshall fan Brad Pennington said, "The ugly blue and gold clashes with green and white and makes our city ugly. I'd rather have tall grass in my yard than a WVU banner. Mayor Steve is doing the right thing with the Beautify Huntington campaign. I don't care how much heroin is sold in Huntington or how many houses are broken into as long as I don't have to look at those disgusting WVU banners."
The Huntington City Council is in favor of the ordinance and is meeting next week to discuss the possibility of spreading the ban to include car flags and bumper stickers.