Icons that promote American culture and values have been under assault for years. People who don’t like what many Americans cherish have infused their attacks into all levels of government.
One town on the East Coast decided that a symbol of support for law enforcement was “offensive” and “racist.” Town officials decided there was no room in the community for such a symbol and banned the display of the American flag with a thin blue line.
The flag supports law enforcement, and a judge has decided that the town officials are out of line with the Constitution. The ban was hit with a court ruling from U.S. District Judge Karen Marston that Springfield Township, Pa., officials didn’t like.
From Fox News:
“The Township repeatedly suggests that the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag is of limited, if any, public value or concern because it is ‘offensive’ and ‘racist,’” Marston wrote in the court opinion. “But as this Court previously told the Township, ‘the First Amendment protects speech even when it is considered ‘offensive.’”
Police officers brought the lawsuit against the township and their attorney, Wally Zimolong, said the ruling vindicated the First Amendment rights of law enforcement to exercise free speech.
“It showed once again that the government cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination based upon a message it disagrees with or finds offensive,” Zimolong said.
The conflict over the flag started in 2021 when the police union voted to add it within its log. Several township commissioners were against the idea because the flag is connected to Blue Lives Matter. The union voted down the commissioners’ request and last year the township attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to the union. The letter told the union to stop using the flag or remove Springfield Township from its name.
The union refused, and the commissioners went around them. Commissioners adopted a policy barring township employees, agents, or consultants from displaying the flag while on duty or representing the township.
The township’s actions were chided by the judge that ruled in favor of the police officers. Marston said that officials calling the flag various names bordered on unprofessional no matter how it may affect select members of the community.
- Pennsylvania township attempts to ban flags with a thin blue line.
- Federal court calls out township officials for actions against police.
- The ruling states that supporting police with the flag is protected speech.
Source: Fox News