It was brought to the attention of the Spectrum in the article “Minot, your homophobia is showing” published Sept. 14, online and Sept. 24, in print that a quote from Steve Hamilton was misinterpreted. In the article, Hamilton is quoted saying, “Hanging [that flag] up is taking my freedom, my free speech away and that’s why I’m here… I can already see our guns coming, it’s coming next.” The quote was interpreted as being violent towards members of the LGBTQ+ community. Instead, Hamilton meant for the quote to be interpreted as a potential infringement of second amendment rights in the future. Below is Hamilton’s entire statement from the Sept. 8, Minot City Council meeting you can also view that city council meeting in full at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXiQJrleWfc.
“Steve Hamilton, here from Minot, born and raised, 619 13 St SE. Now I was shocked when I saw that. I was a kid born and raised in this town. I’ve always admired Minot and where I grew up, the freedom that was here. So proud of this town. Been a sit back citizen, don’t say a lot but this really hit the barrel. I sat and I watched that video that’s how I got introduced to it, sitting 400 miles away from home and watched with such disgust. And the reason I had such disgust is because of the door that got opened. That door got bigger than what you guys thought it was.
You know you think it’s just a measurement of a flag or we didn’t follow certain orders. No, that isn’t what it was, you opened a door for me and every citizen in the city of Minot and you won’t be able to stop it. I can either put something good up on that pole or I can put something bad on that pole because you opened that door. You allowed advertising to be done at city hall and I don’t know how you could stop me because I made a phone call this week finding out the process that I need to go through so I could have advertising done at city hall. My god I didn’t think that was ever going to happen. I didn’t know city hall opened up a big billboard today and everybody that wants to can come down now, you just go to meet with city council get an okay, and you can hang or put an advertising sign on the front lawn of city hall. But, some of them signs are going to be good, some of them signs are not. Some of these people that sit here are going to be against the flag that was hung, some are not. Now I’ll be down here next week because I want my flag hung up on that pole. I want my group and my advertising done and mine’s on a religious level. Let’s see how many people on the right side or the left side that don’t like that. This has started a war that you created.
You know there’s a lot us here in the city of Minot, we sit quietly. Matter of fact tell you how quiet I am I’ve never seen the inside of this building, I’m 58 years old. I always had my trust and my faith in you people right there. I lost all faith in each and every one of you because of what you did. I watched the burning in Chicago [and] Minneapolis. I’m an over-the-road truck driver, my life is threatened every day I’m out on that road because of signs and what you guys just did out here. I don’t have the freedom no more with hanging that stuff out there and so it’s taken my freedom and my free speech away. That’s why I’m here today. It’s bigger than you thought.
When I called on Friday, they told me well we fixed the problem. Oh you did, yeah we saw it the minute we opened up the flag. No, you didn’t you should have recognized it before you even thought about putting a different flag up there. Because what he thought we corrected was the size and what they did, they brought it back down they made it the same size or smaller than the American flag. No, you didn’t, you opened up advertising for good and for bad. You opened up what’s going on in Chicago and Minneapolis and what arrogance, what arrogance.
We all sit up here in these nice suits and get these name tags. I don’t even need to know any of you. You and your party I can address it that way. You turn around and you got all those fancy names and all this stuff going on, but you can’t even look at the small little things that can turn into a bombshell. I already see our guns coming, it’s coming next. Our freedoms are being taken away but I’ll tell you something there’s a silent group of people and they’re not here today but all the lifetime that I’ve lived I’ve never been so pissed off in my entire life and so disappointed in our member of our mayor because they’re bringing war to the city of Minot.”