CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Capital High School Principal Clinton Giles is frustrated by an order from the state fire marshal that banners flying near the center of the school's gymnasium must be removed and placed along gym walls.
"I just do not see the need for this," Giles said. "This is above and beyond, in my opinion, what should be expected of us.
"We will do what we are told to do, but this is unreasonable," he said.
At least four Kanawha County workers were using a large scissor lift to remove the banners Tuesday.
Several blue CHS banners that feature the head of a cougar, the school's mascot, will be put into storage. Banners with the team colors for all 16 Mountain State Athletic Conference schools are being hung along the walls.
County workers also relocated blue and white banners with abstract icons illustrating various sports, such as basketball, swimming and track and field.
The banners have been hanging in the gymnasium since Capital High opened in 1989, Giles said, and he believes they add to the aesthetic appeal of the school.
"They just can't hang them from the structure above because it just really impedes the pattern of the sprinkler system," Assistant Fire Marshal Norman Fetterman said.
A dozen other CHS banners and the same number of matching streamers in the nearby commons area must also be moved, Giles said. Those banners will likely end up in storage, as the ceiling and walls are not very high in the commons area.
In part, the banners must be moved to the walls in the gymnasium because Fetterman doesn't know if their material is noncombustible or fire-resistant.