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Va. sheriff puts up billboard in response to kneeling debate

The billboard sits on Route 460 near the Bedford County entrance from Lynchburg and you can read what it says; "Law enforcement stands and places hand over heart for National Anthem! We kneel when we pray!" (Photo: WSET)

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WSET) - The NFL kneeling debate has arrived in Bedford County.

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown has paid for a sign he doesn't want people to miss.

The billboard sits on Route 460 near the Bedford County entrance from Lynchburg and you can read what it says: "Law enforcement stands and places hand over heart for National Anthem! We kneel when we pray!"

Sheriff Brown said he's always been a Washington Redskins fan, until recently, after video showed the team, plus many other teams, kneeling during the national anthem.

"I applaud demonstrating for social justice, that's great, but do it some other way than disrespecting our great country, and this flag," Sheriff Brown said.

Sheriff Brown said he felt personally compelled to do something about it.

"It's the greatest country in the world, it's been that way because of our military, and our law enforcement," he said.

Sheriff Brown decided to put the new billboard up at the intersection of Route 460 and Goode.

Neighbors in the area said they're proud of the sign.

"It definitely shows the law enforcement is behind the community," said Sherri Stayton, a Bedford County resident. "I'm proud of it absolutely."

Jeff Scott, another Bedford County resident, said he will feel a sense of pride when he drives by it.

Scott is a longtime Raiders fan but said it always comes back to the red, white and blue.

"It shows respect for our country and the freedoms that we have, everything is related to that flag," said Scott.

Sheriff Brown said he also plans to put this slogan as a bumper sticker on all the department's vehicles and said as a result of requests said he will provide any chief, sheriff, or others with the bumper sticker, until supplies last.

"I am respectfully requesting other persons that may have an interest in our Grand Old Flag, our country, our military, and our law enforcement profession organize some type of ‘like’ activity in their community," he wrote on Facebook.

Sheriff Brown is a U.S. Army veteran, serving in the Military Police Corps.

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