Rob Beschizza at 9:18 am Wed, Mar 13, 2013
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
Lawmaking is a serious matter, and is easy to screw up. It should not be in the hands of lawyers and politicians.
To my knowledge the nations of Ireland and Greece have never been at war with the government bearing the U.S. flag. The same cannot be said of Florida.
A similar thing happened in a tiny, little town of Seekonk, MA back in the ’90s. Back then it was that Canadian restaurant chain that I can’t remember. The one with the animatronic moose one the wall. They flew the flag of Canada out front, and the yokels harassed and berated the company until they took it down.
The local jack-asses where assuming it was against the law to fly a non-‘Merican flag so called the police and the newspapers and various state officials.
Some idiots suggested that it fly on the same poll, but below the Stars and Stripes. They clearly were so concerned about flags that they didn’t bother knowing a single thing about the proper flag etiquette or read the U.S. Flag code.
I stopped being proud of my home town after that.
I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. My guess is that they couldn’t tell the difference between the Canadian flag and the Japanese flag and they were still angry about World War One.
At least they’re being consistent! I mean these things are almost always about xenophobia, nativism and attacking Mexican immigrants specifically.
The Irish flag looks vaguely like the Mexican flag minus the bird/ snake. Coincidence?
Testing people on which flags belong to which nation would probably get some interesting results.
Well duh. Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of the Irish flag.
The obscure ordinance was passed in the 1990s as part of a previous administration’s attempt to clean up an unsightly commercial area, according to Marks. The language was ambiguous, however, and the ordinance banned flags, but carved out an exemption for the U.S. flag.
And by “unsightly”, we mean “Mexican”.
“There was never any intent to have any kind of prejudicial feeling against the Irish or anybody,” she added.
The amazing thing about these cretins is that she probably completely believes that and it would never occur to her for a minute that “prejudice” and “racial discrimination” at all apply to her feelings towards the minority groups she despises.
That was my first reading, but since they’ve specified that “City officials have proposed amending the ordinance to allow the flying of national flags,” it makes me think that the original ordinance was targeting “flags” that were fabric-based ads or business markers (e.g. those decorative flags that are mono-colored rectangles of fabric), not country flags.
Of course I’m talking out of my ass, I don’t really know a thing about the town, but I’d guess that the reconsideration happening now is a result of realizing that white people sometimes want to fly other-nationality flags too…
I think this is more the sort of flag they had in mind with the original ban. Also, those red/white/blue flags for used car lots and the curved, taut, sail-like “flags” that you see outside of Sprint stores.
I assumed that if the ordinance had embarrassed them, they simply could have repealed it; since they’re keeping it but specifying national flags, that indicates it still addresses issues with other types of flags.
Also, the first time the ordinance was enforced was for the Greek flag blocking a sidewalk. It was only when the owner complained that there were other flags not being targeted that they started going after those, too. (Enforcement of these sorts of ordinances is almost entirely complaint-driven.)
These ordinances were put in to curtail the use of those stupid red white and blue “OPEN” flags and flags at street level that block the sidewalk.. Nothing about the ban is directed at country flags.
Except the explicit exemption for the US flag? That seems fairly targeted.
I’m guessing that someone said, at some point, “Oh, but his ordinance would also technically ban the flag in front of the council chambers. So we need to put an exemption in” and then didn’t continue thinking it through.
If you want to pass an ordinance that prohibits blocking the sidewalk, that’s one thing. If you pass an ordinance that regulates commercial speech, that’s usually okay. But an ordinance that makes a distinction between certain kinds of expression (flags) based on the content (national flags vs. everything else), then you have a First Amendment problem. Do these people know any lawyers?
Idiots? Rob, when posting, you may want to read the article you’re posting about first. As others have commented, this law was put in place to stop aggressive marketing that interfered with the public’s use of public space. As enforced, the law served it’s purpose just fine until one scufflaw (a Greek restaurant) decided to be jerks and exploit a flaw in the wording to cause problems for another business. The flaw is quickly being fixed.
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