Minnesota appeals court: Trump flag protected free speech

BUFFALO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has sided with a man who said he shouldn’t have been fined for flying a huge Donald Trump flag over his business, calling it a protected expression of free speech.

The Buffalo City Council had found the flag that Jay Johnson flew over his construction business in 2020 violated a local sign ordinance because of its size and because he didn’t have a permit. The flag read: “TRUMP 2020 Keep America Great.” The council fined Johnson $600.

The Star Tribune reports that the appeals court reversed the council’s decision Monday. The court says the ordinance doesn’t apply to noncommercial speech and “impermissibly creates a content-based regulation of speech.” It is unclear if the city will appeal to the state Supreme Court.