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Arizona Woman Defies City Order, Continues To Fly 'Trump 2020' Flag

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Tawney Baccellia of Prescott Valley, Arizona, wanted to show her support for President Donald Trump by flying a “Trump 2020 – Keep America Great” flag in her backyard, but some of her neighbors took offense and voiced their objection to the city, which is now threatening stiff fines.

Baccellia began flying the banner in early November below a “thin blue line” American flag, which is meant to show her support for the police.

In late December, the Arizona woman and her husband received a letter from Prescott Valley — a city of about 45,000 people located 90 miles north of Phoenix — stating they had 10 days to remove “prohibited signage” from their flagpole or face a $100 fine.

According to Baccellia, the fine will continue to compound the longer they do not comply.

The portion of the city code cited to her prohibits “animated” or “flashing” signs, with animated meaning it changes positions, as flags of course do when the wind blows.

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Baccellia also has a light on her flagpole to keep it illuminated at night.

In addition to the city ordinances cited, Arizona state law provides that residents only have the right to post political signs up to 60 days before a primary election and until 15 days after the general election.

Baccellia’s husband called the city official listed on the letter who informed him the offending sign was the couple’s “Trump 2020” flag, adding the city had received some complaints about it.

Baccellia told The Western Journal her response was to go purchase a new Trump flag to replace the one she had been flying, which was fraying.

“This is who I support. This is what I want on my flag and it’s in my backyard,” she said.

Baccellia posted the city’s letter directing her to take down the flag on her personal Facebook page, as well as local community pages, which she said “blew up” with comments of support.

Prescott Valley is in Yavapai County, which Trump carried by over 30 percentage points in 2016.

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Baccellia received a strong ally in her cause in Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta.

Palguta wrote on Facebook late last month, “I want to thank Tawney Baccellia for making a post about recently getting a notice from Code Enforcement to remove a second flag she had on her flagpole because it was currently against Town Code.”

“I want everyone to know I am 100 percent against the Code as it is written and will be working with Council and Staff to change it,” he added.

Palguta told The Western Journal that a flag and a sign are two different things, meaning the state law prohibition regarding political signs should not apply.

Do you think Baccellia has a constitutional right to fly her Trump 2020 flag?

Additionally, he anticipates the city code will be changed when the Prescott Valley council meets next month to make clear that Baccellia has a First Amendment right to fly her Trump flag.

“It’s not about the content of the flag. It has to do with the person’s right to fly it. … You can’t take that away from someone, and that is what the town is trying to do,” he explained.

Palguta, who is a diehard Arizona Cardinals fan, offered the example of his neighbor flying a Seattle Seahawks flag.

“I hate the Seahawks, but in no way am I ever going to tell him he needs to take it down because it’s not the right flag,” Palguta said. “That’s ridiculous. And guess what? I still say ‘Hi’ to him, and we’re still friends.”

“That’s what America’s about,” he added.

Baccellia intends to keep her flag flying and is hopeful the city ordinance will be changed before Prescott Valley levies any fines against her, which for now appears to be on hold.

She said the mayor has offered “amazing support.”

Palguta is optimistic all will work out in Baccellia’s favor in the end.

“I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution,” he said. “And the last time I checked the Constitution goes above the town code of Prescott Valley.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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