Two local Republicans have criticized the decision to fly a Gay Pride flag at Asheville, North Carolina City Hall this week, comparing the city's action to those of the Nazi movement and Adolf Hitler.

The two-story rainbow flag was hung from the building's fourth story on Thursday as supporters and opponents waited on two courts to rule on three cases challenging the state's ban on gay marriage.

(Related: North Carolina GOP leaders vow to continue fighting for gay marriage ban.)

Two Republicans, former city councilman Carl Mumpower and former Buncombe County GOP chairman Chad Nesbitt, criticized the city's move.

Mayor Esther Manheimer told the Asheville Citizen-Times that the City Council voted unanimously to display the flag but acknowledged that she did not discuss the issue with City Manager Gary Jackson.

“I recognize that people have different views on these issues, and I'm sensitive to that,” she said.

Mumpower and Nesbitt claimed that by not holding a vote during a public meeting, the council had run afoul of the state's open meetings law.

“There is a reason that North Carolina instructs local elected bodies to handle their affairs in an open and deliberate way,” the Republicans said in a statement. “Otherwise, they would be free, such as in this case, to indulge their personal feelings and conduct business behind closed doors and over private phone lines.”

The statement included a graphic of a Nazi flag flying over City Hall (pictured).

“I am equating their methods with the Nazi movement,” Mumpower told the paper. “They are indifferent to the rule of law and indifferent to the vote of the people. And that's Adolph Hitler all over again in a different disguise.”

On Friday, Mumpower and about 25 people held up a Christian flag outside of City Hall in protest.