My home state of New Jersey is embarrassing me. City commissioners in West New York passed the first phase of a widespread sign ordinance Wednesday evening that will ban flying the American flag.
An article in Politicker NJ reported, “The ordinance prohibits bench signs, inflatable signs and portable signs. It also states that a store window can only use 15 percent of its size for any signage, and prohibits stores from having neon around their window edges. It prohibits flashing open or close LED signs, or any scrolling lit up sign. It also specifically prohibits the flying of flags, banners and pennants [emphasis added].”
Crazy. But the reason behind passing the sign ordinance is really crazy.
Frank Ferriero, owner of TV on Wheels and head of a group called, “Residents for a Better West New York,” had a mobile ad campaign running out of his truck calling for the removal of the mayor who is under indictment for computer hacking, and other complaints about the city government.
According to the article, the Mayor and Board of Commissioners have had enough of Ferreiro’s roving truck ads. Enter the sign ordinance in what seems a clear case of an attack on free speech.
Ferreiro said of the ordinance, “It is going way past just targeting me. The mayor and commissioners are infringing on commercial freedom of speech. What if I want to hang the American Flag? I can’t. Man, that’s un-American.”
Indeed. And sounds unconstitutional as well. A final vote on the ordinance will be held on Feb. 20.