The small-town mayor of Munford, Tennessee, says he is powerless to order a local resident to take down a flag with a profane message about President Joe Biden and his supporters.
The flag, which hangs on the resident’s private property, states, “F*** Biden and f*** you for voting for him.”
According to WREG-TV, Mayor Dwayne Cole says he’s received several complaints about the flag over the past month from residents who found it offensive. The mayor had the city attorney look into the matter and the city found that the homeowner had a constitutional right to fly the flag on his property.
“It’s vile. It’s vulgar. It’s protected speech under the Constitution,” Cole said. “If I had the authority to make him take it down, I would definitely do that.”
A city ordinance regulating certain campaign yard signs does not apply in this case, the mayor said, because the resident is flying the political flag on his porch.
Cole said he met with the homeowner about the flag, who has no intention of taking it down.
“That’s where we stand,” the mayor said.
The homeowner also owns a pro-Trump flag with profanity on it. But like the Biden flag, city officials told WREG the flag is constitutionally protected speech.
Jay DeWitt, a resident of the neighborhood, said that while he doesn’t have a problem with the flag’s political message, he does wish his children weren’t exposed to the profanity.
“If it said (expletive) Trump I would have the same problem,” he said. “I have children. I have two children. We have a lot of children in that community. The kids can see it.”
Profane anti-Biden flags have caused controversy in several communities.
A New Jersey woman faces a $500 a day fine from the town of Roselle Park for refusing to take down a flag that reads “F*** Biden” on her property near an elementary school.
“We have an ordinance on the books that prohibits sexually profane things and anything that is profane in nature. Nine times out of 10 it would be slightly less of an issue if it wasn’t right by a school but it’s literally a block away from an elementary school,” Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello told a local radio station in June.
“Freedom of speech when it comes to politics obviously totally in bounds. The issue comes when using profane sexual language especially near an elementary school. All we’re asking is for her to comply and take those down,” Signorello added. “She can put up all the pro-Trump signs she wants as long they’re not sexual and vulgar in nature.”