OPINION

Cohen: First Amendment at play in SCW flag issue

Posted 1/18/22

It has come to my attention as host of the KSCW Rec Center Show that there are a number of Sun City West residents involved in issues concerning the use of flags flying outside homes in our community.

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OPINION

Cohen: First Amendment at play in SCW flag issue

Posted

It has come to my attention as host of the KSCW Rec Center Show that there are a number of Sun City West residents involved in issues concerning the use of flags flying outside homes in our community.

There are people who are not only flying the flag of their favorite team or university, there are people flying flags that are making political statements as well. 

As a veteran journalist I am well aware of what the First Amendment to our Constitution affords all of us — the freedom of expression. Even the burning of our flag falls under the First Amendment umbrella as the U.S. Supreme Court said on more than one occasion. So many of our residents in Sun City West have fought for the freedoms that our flag symbolizes and I always cringe when I see our flag in flames — or even used as weapons as they were last January in the U.S. Capitol building.

It is clearly okay to show your support for a team or university or political candidate no matter which party they belong to, but the question for our community needs to be, should community rules and regulations be allowed to trump federal law? If there are community rules and regulations that stand in the way of the First Amendment, we have something to talk about here. You can imagine the arguments on any side of this topic.

Is it the size of a banner or the statement being made by a banner that is more important? Or is there simply too much visual pollution out there on display in our community no matter the size of the banners and no matter what statements are being made by them?

Editor’s Note: Gary Cohen is a KSCW Radio hoat and Broadcast Club of Sun City West president.

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