its position once again, the California Department of Transportation
said Sept. 23 that safety concerns have forced the agency to remove
all banners and signs - including American flags - posted along
decision comes two weeks after Caltrans said it would leave up
all banners that do not pose a safety hazard. But that position
was a reversal of a previous Caltrans announcement that freeway
displays, including flags, would be removed.
policy on freeway displays came under scrutiny last year when
two Santa Cruz women sued the department because anti-war signs
were removed while American flags remained. The judge hearing
the case ordered Caltrans to either remove all freeway signs,
banners and flags or allow all such displays to remain, regardless
In its immediate
response to the January court order, Caltrans ordered the removal
of all freeway displays, including U.S. flags hung after last
year's terrorist attacks. But earlier this month, the agency reversed
its position and said it would allow all banners, signs and flags
on freeway property as long as they were securely fastened.
the new policy was announced, officials say they worry the many
people throughout the state who have flocked to bridges and overpasses
to hang signs, banners and flags could be injured while hanging
the displays. Caltrans is appealing the court order. The appeal
is scheduled to be heard in October.