JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville City Council president on Wednesday told News4JAX he hopes to soon have a resolution worked out as a flag, which contains a profane message toward President Joe Biden, remained flying near TIAA Bank Field.
The flag is atop a crane that’s docked along the St. Johns River. Jacksonville City Council members have been trying to get the owner to take it down, but it hasn’t happened.
News4JAX has learned Cross State Towing owns the barge with the crane and flag atop. We’ve been attempting to talk with the owner since Friday, and on Wednesday, we visited the dock.
The person on hand told us that his boss told him to the lock the gate with my photographer and I still inside.
Here’s how this played out. Just after 11 a.m. my photographer and I arrived at the site -- owned by Cross State Towing. There were no signs reading “keep out” or “no trespassing.” I was just looking for someone who operates the boats and crane, and that’s when I saw a man walking off a tugboat and asked him.
That man kept walking and I kept asking if he was with Cross State. He walked up to the gate. I didn’t know what he was doing. And then he locked it. He said the boss man told him to lock the gate.
Again, we were just trying to find out information about this flag.
Last week, city council members were trying to do the same thing and were under the impression it would be coming down. It was only down for a few hours during the Gator Bowl at TIAA Bank Field.
On Wednesday, we sat for a short while. The man said we would have to call police to get us out. We did, but a short time later, he opened the gate to let another worker out.
The man let us out, too, and said his boss would not be speaking with us. We called the sheriff’s office back and left the area.
On Wednesday, we also spoke with Republican City Council President Sam Newby, who has been attempting to reach the company. Now, he’s taking a different approach.
“I am really surprised that it is still up there. This is not Jacksonville. It’s really not Jacksonville. And I’m sad that this flag will still be up,” Newby said. “I’ve been talking with the mayor (Lenny Curry) and also the Office of General Counsel and we’re trying to resolve and I think we have a solution for this and hopefully by the end of the week we should have this resolved.”
There is nothing illegal about flying a flag with profanity, and the company does own the barge. For now, it’s not being used on any project and this is where it’s stored.