Monday, August 12, 2013

Property & Speech, Ctd.

The New York Times reports on a veterans group that attempted to fly the Gadsden Flag (recently assosicated with the Tea Party movement) on city property of New Rochelle, NY.  The city ordered the flag removed:

City officials, who have been barraged by angry e-mails from conservatives nationally, say residents are welcome to put up banners or signs representing their opinions, but not on city-owned property.

“Although it’s certainly true that the Gadsden flag has a historic meaning, it’s also true that in the modern day, it is often associated with the Tea Party movement,” said Mayor Noam Bramson, who is also the Democratic candidate for Westchester County executive. “If you Google ‘Tea Party flag,’ this is the one that comes up. Of course, it’s fine for individuals to express their views on their own property or persons, but I think on public property, the standard has to be different.”

In a lawsuit filed on July 26 in federal court in White Plains, the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of New Rochelle and its president, Peter Parente, sued the city, Mr. Bramson, the city manager and four City Council members, saying that the city had acted in an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable manner” and violated the group’s First Amendment rights.

Steve Clowney

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