Minnesota Appeals Court Says Buffalo Man Can Fly Giant Trump Flag
Just about a year ago, I did a story on this guy from Buffalo, Jay Johnson, who was being fined by the city of Buffalo for flying his giant 50' x 30' Trump flag from the top of a 50 foot crane outside his business in Buffalo.
Yesterday, according to kaaltv.com, a Minnesota appeals court has ruled that Jay Johnson was denied his free speech rights when the Buffalo City Council said the flag in question violated the local sign ordinance. The city then fined Johnson $600.
Below is the original story from may 14th, 2021;
A Buffalo man named Jay Johnson has a giant Trump flag flying over his construction business in Buffalo. By giant, I mean 50' X '30. That's a pretty big flag.
Before the election Johnson flew the same flag but took it down after the election. Last month he put it back up on top of a 50 foot crane City officials say that the flag violates a city ordinance and it must come down unless he gets a permit for it.
After putting the flag back up, Johnson said that several vehicles at his business had windows shot out with a BB gun. There was a similar incident at a Trump merchandise shop in town but police have no suspects as of yet.
Johnson, for some reason has not applied for the permit, which seems to me to be the easiest solution but he doesn't seem to want to go that route.
"I am prepared to get the fines, ultimately get cuffed, go to jail, whatever,” Johnson said, according to a report on Tuesday by WCCO of Minneapolis.
Johnson says he paid $1000 for the flag and $50,000 for the crane it flies from. Sounds like a big waste of money to me.
According to city officials, they have received about 100 comments about Johnson's flag and they are pretty evenly split between pro and con. A city official said they are now weighing options on how to deal with enforcement.
Is it just me or is getting a permit not the easiest way to fix this? We'll keep you posted on the outcome.