(The Minnesota Sun) — The city of Buffalo is trying to force one business owner to stop flying his “Trump 2020” flag, saying that the flag violates a city ordinance.
But Jay Johnson, who is flying the 50 feet by 30 feet flag from a crane at his construction business, says he’s not budging.
The ordinance says that a sign that big needs to be licensed, and that Johnson has not applied for such a license.
Johnson says he does not care.
“I am prepared to get the fines, ultimately get cuffed, go to jail, whatever,” he told WCCO.
City officials are reportedly scheming about how to enforce the violation.
The flag has only recently become controversial.
Johnson took it down after the 2020 election, but decided to begin flying it again about a month ago. Shortly thereafter, several of his work vehicles were vandalized when the windows were shot out with BB guns. Police are actively investigating that incident.
That didn’t seem to bother Johnson, either.
“I’m willing to forgive the people that did it,” he reportedly said. “They just got to come forward and admit it. I put a reward out.”
The BB gun incident occurred just before the city levied its grievance against Johnson over the flag’s lack of licensure.
The city has received more than 100 calls about the flag, some of which are positive, and others negative. At least one resident called it “divisive,” and suggested that Johnson replace his Trump flag with an American flag.
Regardless, Johnson intends to fly his flag — even if the city officials eventually take it down themselves.
“I’ll just put it up someplace else, and maybe even a bigger flag,” Johnson said.
Last year, a New Jersey man who similarly faced fines and jail time for flying his Trump flag in violation of a city ordinance, took his case to municipal court where it was dismissed by the judge.