For more than a decade, it conveyed a cryptic message to all who passed on State Road in Vineyard Haven. But now the rough plywood “Hoo Rah for Bill” sign, which declared the late Craig Kingsbury’s support for President Clinton, is trash.

It was pulled down on the orders of the town’s building and zoning inspector, Kenneth Barwick,

And Mr. Kingsbury’s daughter, Kristen Kingsbury Henshaw, is not happy about the peremptory destruction of what she considers a little piece of Island history, and memento of her father, one of the Island’s great characters, whose colorful language eventually led to his becoming the salty model for the old fisherman Quint in the movie Jaws.

No one told Ms. Henshaw the sign was coming down. By the time she found out about it — and prevailed upon Mr. Barwick to search for it among the rubbish — it had been destroyed.

True, the sign had little intrinsic value; it consisted of a piece of scrap plywood with some roughly-daubed white painted lettering, nailed to a tree and weathered over almost 13 years.

But it had a history worth recounting.

It was the summer of 1998 when it was made. As Ms. Henshaw recalls, it was a lowpoint of the Clinton presidency, when “the Monica Lewinski thing was hot and he was taking a heavy-duty battering from a lot of enraged and self-righteous folk.”

The Clintons were due to visit the Vineyard, and her dad wanted to make some show of support.

Ms. Henshaw’s daughter, Elizabeth, then aged 16, found an old piece of scrap plywood and got the paint.

“Dad initially told Lizzie to paint on it ‘Go get ’em, Bill,’” she remembered.

But that form of words was nixed, on the basis that it might have been seen to be encouraging the President’s peccadillos.

“It would have every decent woman on the next boat,” she said.

They settled instead, on “Hoo Rah for Bill”, in big letters, and in smaller ones, “Craig.” Then they cut a copy of the Presidential seal from the Gazette, which they covered in plastic, and tacked inside one of the letter Os.

As Ms. Henshaw wrote in a book about her father: “The sign attracted much favorable attention, and some surprisingly vitriolic reactions.”

Then it went missing. Her father immediately assumed some Republican sympathizer had taken it. (The book records his exact words.)

In fact, though, it had been taken by pranksters, who had placed it on the lawn of a well-known Republican sympathizer.

“From there,” the book reports, “the sign had been passed around, moving from home to home, a great source of aggravation to the luckless individuals who found it propped in their shrubbery, or leaning up against their houses.”

After reclaiming the sign, the family nailed it firmly to a tree near their house — on state land, it turns out — where it remained until Mr. Barwick’s intervention in April this year.

Ms. Henshaw said the first she knew of the sign’s removal was when she got a phone call from the tenant in her house, saying it was suddenly gone.

She began calling around town, eventually learning, from the Tisbury director of the Department of Public Works, Fred LaPiana, that his workmen had acted on Mr. Barwick’s orders on April 10.

She contacted Mr. Barwick and demanded its return.

Alas, she did not get the sign back, although she did get a letter, dated April 21, in which Mr. Barwick said he had acted after several complaints over a period of 12 to 14 months about the sign, which, he wrote, “provided no useful information, is considered a blight on the landscape . . . is in violation of local and state law and should be immediately removed.”

After “due consideration” and conversation with the state highway department, he ordered it pulled down.

Mr. Barwick was apologetic for his failure to contact Ms. Henshaw first.

“After receiving your phone call about your ownership of the sign, I had taken a good part of my work day to locate the sign, but was informed that it had already been transported, along with other similar material, off Island and recycled,” Mr. Barwick wrote.