The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Amelia Island, Florida has reportedly reimbursed a Tea Party protester who was forbidden from displaying his flag at the facility last weekend.

William Temple – a former employee of the U.S. Secret Service and officer in the U.S. Air Force – was prohibited from displaying his Gadsden Flag (the famous yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” banner) during an exclusive gathering of liberal “Republican” lawmakers at the swanky Florida resort.

The event – which featured GOP majority leader Eric Cantor and majority whip Kevin McCarthy – drew outrage from limited government supporters.

“The Ritz-Carlton is reimbursing me for the entire $619.63 for the room I used on April 12,” Temple wrote on his Facebook page. “I contacted their hotel manager and told him that I was outraged at the violation of my first amendment rights, expected a complete and formal written apology from the hotel, and complete repayment of the expenses incurred as restitution! He notified me that the hotel would comply.”

Hotel officials – who have refused to answer some of the most basic questions about their facility as it relates to hosting this event – declined to confirm Temple’s account.

“I am unable to discuss details of transactions we have made with anyone,” said Allison Sitch, Ritz-Carlton’s vice president of global public relations.


Of course it is worth noting that Temple posted his message regarding the reimbursement right around the time our website sent an email to Ritz-Carlton’s corporate public relations office raising questions about a “paying guest at your hotel who identified himself as a member of the Tea Party (who) was not permitted to wear a specific piece of fabric around his shoulders on the premises.”

FITS founding editor Will Folks – the only reporter who attended the gathering – took video of the exchange between Temple and hotel security. That clip will be included as part of a sprawling feature on the retreat that he is preparing for national publication later this week.

Needless to say, it’s gonna be one helluva read.

Stay tuned …