The banners are owned by the Knights of Columbus and were installed by New Braunfels Utilities several weeks ago. But a spokesperson for the company said it was a mistake and the signs have since been removed.
“Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the message, NBU is a municipal utility and cannot lawfully display a religious message,” said Gretchen Reuwer, the utility’s communications manager.
She said their policy does not allow any signs or banners promoting a specific religious message.
“While one message may be strong supported by many in the community, the next message may prove to be just as strongly offensive.”
Reuwer told Fox News they do allow non-profit groups to hang banners – but it’s only for fundraising events. She said the signs cannot promote religious messages.
“We made an error in accepting the banner,” she said. “It was a simple human error – and to compound it – it was also a banner with a message that was specifically religious.”
The removal of the signs has sparked outrage in the community – especially among members of the Knights of Columbus.
“The bottom line is Christ is the reason for the Christmas season,” Joe Hernandez told Fox News. “He’s the reason for the special holiday – his birthday.”
Hernandez, and other members of the Knights of Columbus, said they want to know who complained – and why they took issue with the banner.
“All we were doing was voicing our opinion – that Christ should be kept in Christmas,” Hernandez said.
The Knights of Columbus are active in New Braunfels – sponsoring Habitat for Humanity projects, a hospice, a Boy Scout troop – and even providing scholarships for local students.
Hernandez said it’s not surprising that the war on Christmas has come to their Texas town.
“It’s not a war on Christmas,” he said. “I think it’s a war on Christ – period.”