If you are driving into Harris County, Georgia today, you will see a nice, friendly-looking sign welcoming you. It's a pretty standard "welcome to" sign, one you probably wouldn't notice if it weren't posted above a less-friendly sign.
"Warning," it reads. "Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE !"
If you are entering Harris County and hate God, America, grammar, or basic sensitivity, consider yourself warned.
The sign — located outside the sheriff's department—was not erected by Harris County but by Sheriff Mike Jolley himself. “After being the sheriff of Harris County for 23 years, I believe that the vast majority of my citizens here in Harris County agree with what’s on that sign," Jolley told WRBL. He added that he's prepared for the backlash. “I spent 20 years in the army to give everyone the right not to agree with it, and to voice their opinion if they’re not. And that’s fine."
So far, however, he has received a lot of support. Jolley told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that several people have sent money to help him pay for the sign, which he bought himself, and that "The sign has been purchased double." He continued, "I'm humbled by all of the support… Surprised and humbled by it. Maybe the silent majority isn't going to be silent anymore."
Online, people are also showing support for the veteran.
But there were some who spoke out against the sign. "This is a man with no respect for the law," wrote one critic on Facebook. Another described the sign as "malignant xenophobic jingoism," and another, simply, "this is evil."
The Harris County Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.