A Tea Party group has sued officials in Coldwater, Mich. to challenge a policy that prohibits banners in city parks.
According to United Press International, the Common Sense Patriots of Branch County, Mich. filed the lawsuit claiming that the ban violates the 1st Amendment’s freedom of speech provision. Last November, the Coldwater City Council outlawed banners in city parks after it fielded complaints regarding the Tea Party’s promotional banners.
Attorney John Hutchison, legal counsel for the city of Coldwater, recently attempted to clarify the ban by saying that it applied to signs that are “affixed to real property and fixtures” and not to banners that are held in hand, Michigan Capitol Confidential reported. Hutchison added that he hopes to work with the Common Sense Patriots to craft an amendment to the ban.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Arizona have approved a law that would protect citizens’ rights to hang the historic Gadsden flag, which is a popular symbol for the Tea Party movement. The bill, which has been approved by the State Senate and House, would prevent homeowner and condominium associations from prohibiting residents from flying the black-on-yellow flag that reads, “Don’t Tread on Me,” according to the Arizona Daily Star.
If signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, the bill would give the flag featuring a coiled rattlesnake the same protected status as the United States flag.
In response to Democratic claims that the law would set a dangerous precedent for other political flags, State Representative David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista) said that the Gadsden is “the first American flag, and that’s what we’re celebrating,” the news source reported.