State Rep. introduces bill to ban certain flags on state ferries

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State representative Brad Klippert has introduced a bill to restrict certain flags from flying on Washington State Ferries.

The Kennewick Republican's bill would end the ferry system's practice of occasionally flying flags besides U.S., state and maritime flags. In the past, the ferries have flown the Seahawks 12 flag and the LGBT Pride flag.

According to the Tri-City Herald, Klippert took issue after learning that the gay pride flag was displayed on two ferries, between Seattle and Bainbridge Island/Bremerton, in June.

The agency had been asked to fly the flag on vessels that serve Seattle for the city's Pride weekend, and WSF granted the request.

Ferry system officials say there is no written policy on the subject.

Klippert and Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, called the director of the Washington State Department of Transportation to ask that they be taken down, but the answer was no.

“A simple, polite phone call was not enough to stop the behavior,” Klippert told the Herald.

Klippert argued ferries owned by the state should refrain from any partisan actions.

As of now, special flags are flown at the discretion of WSF officials, and under the direction of the governor.