With religious wars gone silent, Festivus pole stands tall at Florida’s Capitol

A Festivus pole is the Florida Capitol's signature holiday display
A Festivus pole is the Florida Capitol’s signature holiday display

At a Florida Capitol quieting as Christmas nears, a rainbow striped Festivus pole based on the fictional holiday from TV’s Seinfeld show has emerged as the most visible sign of the season.

After three years of wrangling between groups supporting a Nativity scene, atheists, Satanists and those who believe in something called a flying spaghetti monster, the Capitol’s religious wars have mostly gone silent.

But in a scene reflecting some kind of mash-up of themes from O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi and those seen on the twitter feed Florida Man, the only display standing this week is the Festivus pole.

“Celebrate diversity. Celebrate inclusiveness. Celebrate the fact that it is religious freedom for all and not religious freedom for some,” said Chaz Stevens, a blogger and software writer from Deerfield Beach, who put up the Festivus pole Monday at the Capitol.

“This is an ode to the separation of church and state,” he added.

But from its humble origins — built from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans — just down the hall from Gov. Rick Scott’s office, Stevens’ Festivus pole has evolved and is now getting wider attention.

The six-foot pole wrapped in the rainbow, gay pride colors and topped with a disco ball is going to be displayed  in Oklahoma, while Stevens said he expects them also to go up in