Boat with ‘Let’s go Brandon’ lights stripped of Christmas parade win for being political

Captain Bill Berger decked out his boat 'Southern Rock' with fir trees and reindeer while lighting it up with the phrase 'Let's go Brandon' & 'FJB'.


                            Boat with ‘Let’s go Brandon’ lights stripped of Christmas parade win for being political
Captain Bill Berger decked out his boat 'Southern Rock' with fir trees and reindeer while lighting it up with the controversial slogan (WAVY News 10)
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A boat captain was stripped of his Christmas lights display award after he decorated his boat with illuminations saying 'FJB, Let's go Brandon', and which was later deemed overtly political in nature.

Captain Bill Berger decked out his boat 'Southern Rock' with fir trees and reindeer while lighting it up with the phrase 'Let's go Brandon' and the letters 'FJB' in Christmas lights. While his boat was originally voted 'Best in Show' by the crowd in Yorktown, Berger got a phone call with bad news two days later. The controversial phrase is a thinly-veiled substitute recently adopted by conservatives as a way of saying 'F*** Joe Biden.'  

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"They had the awards ceremony, and they presented me winning the best in show and 48 hours later I got the phone call I was disqualified…They said my boat was too political," Berger told WAVY News 10 in an interview. "My boat was best in show to the crowd." While 'FJB' is typically short for 'F*** Joe Biden', the boat captain insisted it actually stood for "falling Joe Biden" in this case, pointing to his light display that showed the 46th POTUS "falling from a ladder."

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The phrase “Let’s go Brandon!” emerged in October after NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast disingenuously claimed on camera that the crowd at a NASCAR race was yelling “Let’s go, Brandon!” when they were actually chanting “F**k Joe Biden!” After the video footage of the chant was analyzed later, her claims were disproved and the phrase has ever since become synonymous with the perceived anti-Biden sentiment across the country.

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According to WAVY, the Yorktown Foundation -- a non-profit that organizes the annual event -- knew about Berger's theme before he entered the competition. "They should not have been surprised. They had plenty of time to disqualify me," he said. But it was only after his victory that the committee told him any political speech in the parade could impact their 501c3 status. "If we allowed politics to interfere with events, we would also lose our nonprofit status, and all these organizations below us would be dissolved," Foundation director Walt Akers told the outlet. "I’ve made more apologies in the last 48 hours than for the rest of my life, I hope," he added.

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After stripping Berger of the title, the committee gave it to the runner-up, whose boat was themed 'Peace on Earth' adorned with Christmassy angels. Akers conceded that Berger should have been notified about his controversial theme a lot sooner, saying that "before [they] have any other event in Yorktown, [they] are going to make sure everyone understands we are [bound by] government and by IRS laws that restrict us from having any political speech." The committee said in a statement that it would "review all entries in advance" for entries in the annual parade henceforth. "While we recognize that political divisiveness is a factor in our daily discourse, we DO NOT want it to negatively impact anyone’s enjoyment of our community events," the statement added.     
 

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