SANTA ROSA INSIDER: PNJ Ignores Support, Attacks American Flag Project

Posted on March 13, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

Last night the City of Milton voted to approve a resolution to suppport Santa Rosa County’s largest American flag project. But don’t expect to read about that in Pensacola News Journal (unless they update their story after being called out over it).

It’s no surprise the liberal newspaper across the bay seems to be working fervently to shut down an American flag project in Santa Rosa County. After all, they’re completely out of touch with Santa Rosa’s mostly Conservative, highly patriotic community.

County Commissioners tomorrow will vote on whether or not to fund a project aimed to solidify Santa Rosa as the most patriotic county in Florida through installation of the largest American flag in the State of Florida just one mile from Santa Rosa County Veteran’s Plaza and close to the busiest air station in the world, NAS Whiting Field, which was recently named the Best Small Base in the Navy – CONGRATS! 

Keep in mind that BED TAX dollars are proposed to fund the American flag project and, per state statutes, that money must only be used for certain things aimed toward attracting tourists, not stormwater or road improvements. For example, Santa Rosa has used bed tax money to fund $200,000 for shower stations near Navarre Beach Pier and $194,000 for an Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge project.

County Attorney Thomas V. Dannheisser says bed taxes are an allowable use to fund the largest flag project, which would cost around $291,000. I’m also told that a VIP in Tallahassee agrees bed taxes can be used for it.

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? Well, PNJ opposes most everything that comes out of our Christian Conserverative commissioners’ mouths. Nevermind that our side of the bay has a supermajority of around Republican voters – compared to only 46.2% registered Republicans in their base of Escambia County. PNJ came out swinging again against the American flag project in today’s online version. Since that newspaper recently announced a switch from home delivery to using snail mail who knows when the actual hard copy will hit subscriber mailboxes…

We all knew PNJ was going to oppose the American flag project since it was proposed by Commission Vice-Chairman James Calkins, who is arguably the most Conservative Christian on the board and, thus, frequently targeted by PNJ staff.

On the other hand, PNJ seems to adore District 2 Commissioner Kerry Smith, who replaced a well-liked Republican with a Democrat in an official advisory role earlier this year. We can expect Smith to vote no on the American flag project, though he could surprise us. 

Commission Chairman Sam Parker will likely support the American flag project because he’s not only a strong Christian Conservative but also a true patriot. Some may be unaware he earned a Purple Heart after being shot in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance while formerly serving as an Escambia County Sheriff’s deputy.

Another supporter could be District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright, who is, arguably, the smartest commissioner on the current board. Wright usually makes the right decisions, basing them on facts and figures. He’ll quickly deduce how $291,000 is only 4.3% of the county’s annual $6.26 million bed tax revenues.   

If Parker and Wright back the American flag project, Calkins’ motion will pass.

If not, District 4 Commissioner Ray Eddington could be the swing vote. Unfortunately, some times Eddington seems to care what PNJ staff and a small group of local community agitators think. Will Eddington bow down to PNJ and Pitchfork Posse pressure?

Well, we may not have to worry about Ray’s allegiance too much longer…tomorrow the board is set to approve the appointment of retiring Col. Allison Black to an official advisory position, and we could possibly see her challenge Eddington in 2026. If Ray makes the right decisions between now and then, he could break the so-called District 4 one-term curse and retain his seat. But if he keeps neglecting to seek out input from ALL the community, not just agitators, he will could be unseated.

Anyway, it’s un-American to oppose a project which stands to solidify Santa Rosa County as a the most patriotic county in Florida since its funding would be paid by bed taxes generated from overnight visitors to the county. 

Santa Rosa County spent more than $750,000 on Santa Rosa County Veteran’s Plaza!! That venue attracts many tourists to our area, so you can bet your sweet ass they’d drive another ONE MILE to see the largest American flag in Florida at the county complex! 

The Milton City Council last night voted to approve supporting the County’s largest American flag project, stating specifically via resolution that the flag will benefit tourism.  They know it will attract more visitors who will dine in local restaurants, shop in local stores, stop in for a cold beer at downtown brewhouses, bringing more revenue for the city and county. One person spoke out the council meeting, opposing City support of it. Sherry Chapman claimed citizens oppose it because of “roads we can’t drive on” and a need for traffic signals. Would someone please get some crayons and explain to her how State of Florida law prohibits using bed tax money to repair roads? She doesn’t seem to understand that. 

Another note, at the base of Florida’s largest American flag, Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Director Julie White can set up a kiosk filled with brouchures, informing visitors that Santa Rosa County is also the Official Canoe Capital of Florida and has the longest pier along the Gulf of Mexico. Julie’s office produces attractive, high-quality brochures, so perhaps after visiting the flag and Veteran’s Plaza, visitors may pick one up and decide to spend the night or, better yet, return for a longer visit or vacation.

Hey, Santa Rosa Clerk’s office, re-read those last two paragraphs. ;)

BOTTOMLINE: PNJ tries to trigger local Democrats and moderates into attacking Conservatives, ESPECIALLY CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES. Don’t get triggered by or subscribe to their left-leaning propoganda! Support the American flag project. Let’s use a fraction of annual bed tax revenues generated by overnight visitors to solidify Santa Rosa County on the map as the most patriotic destination in Florida!!