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Anonymous

Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag
    #1473025 - 04/19/03 01:21 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Peoria Breaks Pledge in Flag Case
City takes the position that it is okay to burn the Flag, but not fly it in support of troops


By Tom Liddy


In the midst of the War in Iraq, the City of Peoria, Arizona, has declared war on the First Amendment by ordering one of its citizens to cease flying his American Flags.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, Jason Simpson sought a meaningful way to express his outrage over the tragic loss of human life and show his support for America in the War on terrorism. Within weeks of the attack, he decided to do what many other Americans were doing: display our nation?s magnificent symbol of freedom, Old Glory.

Simpson is the owner and operator of Peoria Auto Sales, a used car dealership located at Grand Ave. and 82nd Avenue and the epicenter of this shameful controversy. After settling upon the American Flag as the vehicle to convey his backing of America?s resolve to persevere against those who attacked her, Simpson paid a professional to hang scores of cloth American flags around the perimeter of his car lot.

Simpson received much support from neighbors and friends for his willingness to declare his patriotism.

The City of Peoria, on the other hand, has declared the red, white and blue hanging over Simpson?s property ?visual clutter? and wants the Flags removed in the name of aesthetics.

In November of last year, a Peoria Code Compliance Officer issued Simpson a final warning that if he failed to cease his expressive conduct he would face criminal charges for violating of the City?s sign code along with fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail per offense.

Simpson aptly asked, ?How can they put somebody in jail for flying the American flag?? He then continued, ?It just doesn?t make any sense.?

He?s right. It makes no sense.

As a single-father, Simpson feared that a stint in jail might result in the State taking away his three-year-old son. It crossed his mind to simply capitulate to the City?s autocratic demands, but that just didn?t feel right. Simpson knew that if he did not stand up for the right to express his political opinions, he would never be able to look his son in the eye and honestly say America is a free country.

The Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, a nonprofit law firm which litigates to challenge the scope of government, offered Simpson free representation and immediately filed a request to enjoin the City?s enforcement action in the Maricopa County Superior Court and also sought a declaration that Peoria?s sign code was unconstitutional.

At a hearing on IJ?s motion for temporary injunction, the City of Peoria told that judge that they agreed the City?s sign code was unconstitutional and promised to amend the law.

The City?s public posturing was duplicitous and borders on bad faith. On March 19, Peoria?s City Council adopted a new sign ordinance that still forces Simpson to remove the Flags from his property.

Under the new code, Simpson could erect no more than three flag poles on his site and fly no more than two flags per pole. In a letter dated April 1, the City says it recognizes Simpson ?may have objections to this Sign Code? and says it plans to ask the Court to dismiss his lawsuit as ?moot.?

Simpson certainly does object to the City?s attempt to squelch his speech.

While American troops put their life on the line in Iraq, it is incredible that an American citizen, faced with criminal sanctions and incarceration, has to go to court to vindicate his right to fly the American Flag.

If Peoria is looking for a new slogan to slap on its letterhead, Simpson has a suggestion. Peoria: The Most Un-American City in America.

Tom Liddy is an attorney representing Jason Simpson pro bono along with the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, a nonprofit public interest law firm that litigates to protect freedom of speech from government overreaching. Liddy is also a member of the Arizona Chapter?s Legal Advisory Committee.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: ]
    #1473032 - 04/19/03 01:25 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

WTF??? :confused:


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineJssMthrFcknChrst
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Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: silversoul7]
    #1473198 - 04/19/03 02:39 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

What if he wanted to fly Iraqi flags? Soviet Russian flags? French? Non-national (not representing a country, like the 'Christian Flag')? As long as he had the American flag flying higher of course.


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Offlinefriartuck
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Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: silversoul7]
    #1473199 - 04/19/03 02:39 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Yeah, that's pretty fuckin' ridiculous.


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Anonymous

Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: JssMthrFcknChrst]
    #1473237 - 04/19/03 02:59 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

there is a christian flag? that's just sad.


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OfflineJssMthrFcknChrst
Son of the LordGod Almighty

Registered: 10/12/02
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Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: ]
    #1473339 - 04/19/03 03:49 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Yep, here is the Christian Flag:


And here is the Gay Christian Flag :smile::
 


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OfflineGringoLoco
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Re: Arizona Man Ordered Not to Fly American Flag [Re: ]
    #1473660 - 04/19/03 06:05 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

FUCK



This is State sponsored censorship.



Fuck you, America, how dare you strip my constitutional rights away from me, more and more day by day. At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if we even have a constituion by 2050.


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