It was a banner day for the City of Fort Worth.
Well, sort of. The city said it received several phone calls and complaints about some of the banners that are currently displayed in downtown.
The banners from Metroplex Atheists are bright yellow and say “In No God We Trust.”
“While some residents might not like the messaging on these banners, we do not currently restrict religious messaging, as long as it follows the current policy and procedures for display banners,” according to a news release from the city.
The City of Fort Worth Banner Policy and Procedures allows a non/not-for-profit to place banners within the public right-of-way for the purpose of promoting the organization or special event held by the organization. The event must be in Fort Worth and open to the public, or of common interest to the general community.
Mayor Betsy Price weighed in on Twitter: "I was appalled when I saw the banners currently being displayed downtown, as I do not support or agree with the message. While many of us may not agree with the message, the organization did follow policies and procedures set forth by the City & Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. We must respect freedom of speech. As we approach the Fourth of July, we must remember that many Americans have fought and died for the freedoms we cherish today."
The City of Fort Worth works with Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. to administer the display banner program.
The Metroplex Atheists purchased the banners that are currently displayed in several downtown locations. They are holding an event on July 14, 2019, that fits the criteria necessary to purchase the banners.