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January 20, 2018

A sikh man prays in a gurdwara while wearing a star-spangled turban 

Courtesy photo 

Billboard changed following public outcry 

Heather Dawes
Grainger Today Reporter 

RUTLEDGE – A billboard in Rutledge has been changed after area residents complained about its content.  

Lamar Advertising placed an advertisement on a billboard near Citizens Bank & Trust Co. of Grainger County, in Rutledge Monday, Nov. 13 that had some residents upset. The billboard company moved to change the sign after several complaints were made. By the evening of Friday, Nov. 17, the sign had been changed.  

Grainger Today contacted Lamar sign company Thursday, Nov. 16, and a representative said they were unaware of an issue at that time. 

The space was reportedly purchased by the Ad Council for its “Love Has No Labels” campaign. Rutledge City Hall reported receiving several calls from residents who said they found the image on the billboard to be offensive.  

Rutledge resident Matthew England said, “I think it is disrespecting our flag, wearing it on their head. It has nothing to do with race, color or religion.  It’s just disrespectful.”  

A Lamar sign company representative told Grainger Today that they have at least six Ad Council boards running at the moment. He also said, “If there is something that people find offensive, we have no problems taking it down.” 

A post on the Rutledge City Hall Facebook page Thursday, Nov. 16 said, “I have talked to the rep at Lamar Advertising today in regards to the billboard that is close to Citizens Bank in Rutledge. She states the billboard will be taken down, but it will take a few days to get it down. Please be patient. She also states that the people who paid to have it put did not have any purpose but to promote that they are proud to be Americans and are proud of the American flag and what it stands for. They were trying to promote unity is what they are saying. If you have questions or concerns ,you can call Lamar Advertising or the City Hall. 

According to its website, the Ad Council’s objective is to spread unity throughout the country in a campaign that began in November 2016. The photos were intended to show that “the American populace is constituted by many minorities.” 



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One Response “Billboard changed following public outcry ”

  1. Hector
    November 22, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    These “concerned” folks of Grainger County who complained have too much time on their hands, and I am guessing an agenda, to complain about these type of petty things.

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