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California Paints Over Popular 9/11 Memorial, Schwarzenegger Apologizes

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By Doug Powers  •  July 3, 2010 08:49 AM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

The 4th of July weekend was fast approaching, so somebody at the California Department of Transportation figured it was the perfect time to paint over a US flag mural that was painted near an expressway days after 9/11. And why? Because it was on State property, of course:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is apologizing for a decision by state transportation officials to paint over a giant American flag mural on the side of a Northern California freeway.

The 35-foot long flag was painted on a concrete slab near Interstate 680 in Sunol by three men about two weeks after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Even though the mural had been in clear view of commuters for nearly nine years, a Caltrans spokesman says it wasn’t until last month that someone in the agency asked if the flag was on state property.

Spokesman Allyn Amsk says it was covered up with grey paint Wednesday morning.

In a statement Friday, Schwarzenegger extended his “apologies to the artists whose mural inspired drivers along 680 for over eight and a half years.”

Before:

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After:

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I don’t know which is more surprising; The depths of bureaucratic idiocy to which many government officials have sunk, or that it took somebody in the California government nine years to get his or her shorts in a wad about this.

I’d hope that the people who decided to do this are on Arnold’s “minimum wage” hit list, but this is California we’re talking about — they’ll probably get a raise and a promotion.

Video of the story is at KTVU.

(h/t Dan Riehl)

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

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