An Arizona woman was told last month that she must remove the Trump 2020 flag that currently flies above her property.
According to Prescott Valley officials, homeowner Tawney Baccellia was in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits the flying of political flags any more than two months before, or one month after, an election.
The ordinance also requires that political flags not be flown below an American flag.
“It was shocking that someone would try to tell me what I can and can’t fly in my own yard,” Baccellia told the outlet.
Luckily for the homeowner, Prescott Valley Mayor Kell Palguta is “in her corner” and has already begun drafting a new ordinance to rectify the situation.
And that legislation cannot come fast enough for Baccellia, who reportedly has no intention to take the flag down any time soon — despite the fact that amendments to the ordinance may not be cleared by the city council until February.
“She’s demonstrating her first amendment right,” Palguta said. “She has every right to, and who are we to tell her no?”
Having taken office nearly a year ago, according to the city’s website, Palguta told KSAZ-TV this is simply a problem of outdated city codes.
“15 to 20 years ago, novelty flags weren’t very popular,” the mayor said. “You didn’t see ‘thin blue line flags’ or ‘thin red line flags,’ you just saw an American flag.
“As times have changed, the town needs to catch up and we need to change a little bit,” he added.
Prescott Valley woman now working with the Mayor to change a city ordinance that says she can’t fly her @realDonaldTrump 2020 flag. She was told she must take it down and if not she could face hundreds of dollars in fines. Full story below… https://t.co/aE84Qk72SJ #fox10phoenix
— Danielle Miller FOX10 (@Fox10Danielle) January 2, 2020
One can certainly sympathize.
The ordinance is not simply outdated, however. It never should have existed in the first place.
What the average American chooses to publicly display on their private property — so long as it is not obscene — is not the government’s business. Nor should it be.
I am all for flag codes that seek to sanctify, preserve and honor the American flag. When Old Glory flies, she should be in pristine condition and raised far above the ground, neither inhibited nor disrespected by the other flags on display.
But of all the things that might, through mere proximity to the American flag, profane her, political flags are not among them.
In fact, in a society that sees civic engagement falling to all-time lows, we might consider celebrating a person politically involved enough to use her right to free speech and expression under the First Amendment for the purposes of proudly displaying support for the candidate or party of their choosing.
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