Campbell, Wisconsin is being sued by a couple of their citizens for a city ordinance that bans the display of the Americans flag on the town’s pedestrian overpass.
Over the last few years one of the favorite pastimes of conservative activists has been to gather on overpasses and make sure that commuters using the highways below notice their distaste with the current administration.
Campbell was no different. A group of concerned citizens began gathering there in August of 2013 and no one really seemed to care, but the town’s tune changed after the group got some local media attention in October.
Apparently the attention did not sit well with the town fathers in Campbell and they moved to have the practice stopped in their hood – they passed an ordinance which doesn’t allow signs, flags or banners anywhere near their overpass.
Yep. Hanging the American flag on an overpass in Wisconsin was made illegal. What’s sad is that when I think of America, mom, apple pie and Norman Rockwell… it’s usually with the background of a small Midwestern town that has a cute little main street. Usually somewhere in a place like Wisconsin. I guess I’ll need to change my preconceptions about Americana.
Anyway, a few days later a few crazy lawbreakers got together and peacefully assembled on the pedestrian overpass wearing “Impeach Obama” t-shirts. They were soon ordered to leave by local police, and so they left. A few days later one of the protesters received a ticket for displaying an American flag.
So with the help of the Thomas More Law Center the protesters have sued the city and their voices will be heard.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that a bedrock principle of the First Amendment is that government cannot ban the expression of ideas just because some find it offensive,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. “In fact, the Supreme Court has allowed the burning of the American Flag on the grounds that it is a matter of free expression. So I’m astonished that the Town of Campbell and the police department think it can ban a citizen from displaying the American Flag.”
It’s sad that Americans would ever have to resort to this. One of the principles that our nation was built upon was the notion that we could freely associate and gather together – even in protest – as long as said protest was peaceful and orderly. This was no rabble of “Occupy” protesters breaking windows and defecating on police cars. These were peaceful, orderly and respectful Americans speaking their minds. Shame on you Campbell, Wisconsin.
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