A controversial billboard in Murphy depicting and deriding four Democratic Congress women is staying up - for now. BPR spoke with the town’s mayor and the store owner about the attention the sign has brought:
The billboard advertising Cherokee Guns references the four horsemen of the apocalypse, but calls the Congress women – whom President Trump recently told to go back to their countries, even though all four are U.S. citizens - “idiots.” Cherokee Guns sits along Highway 64. The parking lot is packed but the store owner, who goes by “Doc” wants to move past this week’s deluge of media coverage.
“Hey at this time I really really don’t want to comment. Thanks for all of the supporters,” says the owner.
Employees at the store say they have received death threats and show me a similar billboard online calling Donald Trump an idiot to show how disproportionate they feel the reaction to their billboard has been. They also confirm that sales have been going up since the controversy started.
Allison Advertising of Sylva owns the billboard, and while there have been reports they’ll take it down, an announcement saying that has been removed from the company’s Facebook page. The company was not available for comment.
Rick Ramsey has been mayor of Murphy for about two years. He returned to the city of about 1000 people that he grew up in after working at Lockheed Martin for almost 40 years. This isn’t the first time Murphy has made national news according to Ramsey:
“It’s interesting the last time we made national news was when we broke the Guinness Book World Record by having 3,000 people in downtown Murphy using train whistles for “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain,” says Ramsey, referring Murphy’s push to bring in a tourism railroad.
Last year, Ramsey launched a campaign for the city to choose its first official logo. Now Murphy goes by “The City of Flowers.”
“I know what Murphy is. I know what our larger community is and not one of the hundreds of billboards here individually defines us,” says Ramsey.
Ramsey invites people to come see Murphy for themselves, instead of just reading billboards.