MN business owner refuses to remove massive Trump flag; says he’s willing to ‘go to jail’ for it

The owner of a construction business near Minneapolis says he’s willing to “pay fines” and “go to jail” over the flying of a massive Trump 2020 flag in violation of a city ordinance.

“It looks small because it’s 150 feet in the air, but it’s a pretty big flag,” Jay Johnson, who has attached the 50-by-30 feet flag atop a crane on the property of his Buffalo, Minn., construction business, told WCCO-TV.

The defiant Johnson said that the flag flew ahead of the 2020 election and that he took it down afterward, but recently decided to hoist it again.

Shortly thereafter, however, he said someone shot out the windows of some of his construction vehicles with BB guns, which police are investigating. 

(Video: WCCO)

“I’m willing to forgive the people that did it,” he said. “They just got to come forward and admit it. I put a reward out.”

Also, WCCO-TV reported, a local store that sells items featuring former President Donald Trump’s messaging had its windows shot out on the same evening, but so far no one has been arrested.

As for the flag, city leaders in Buffalo have said Johnson is in violation of an ordinance because flags as large as the one he’s flying have to be licensed, WCCO reported, adding that officials have gotten about 100 formal comments regarding the flag split evenly between positive and negative reactions.

But the business owner says he isn’t concerned.

“I am prepared to get the fines, ultimately get cuffed, go to jail, whatever,” he said, adding he will move the flag from the crane or fly an even larger one.

“I’ll just put it up someplace else, and maybe even a bigger flag,” he told WCCO.

The station went on to report that residents have mixed emotions about the flag.

“It doesn’t really bother me much, it’s just weird seeing it up again,” Patrick Cayanan told the station. “Like, are they campaigning again for 2024?”

Trump received close to 75 million votes, the most ever for a Republican presidential candidate, during his reelection bid last fall. 

Since leaving the White House, Trump has largely stayed out of the public’s eye, reemerging only recently to begin giving interviews once more and to make comments about the Biden administration.

He has also begun to endorse Republican candidates for reelection or those who are set to primary GOP incumbents who have fallen out of favor with the former president, many of whom voted to impeach him again in January.

As for whether he will run again, Trump has been inconclusive. In February, the former president teased a 2024 run with the huge applause line, “As you know they, just lost the White House. But who knows, I may even decide to beat them a third time.”

Also, he recently told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that a 2024 bid would likely depend on how well Republicans do during the 2022 midterms.

Late last month, Trump launched, a website aimed at keeping in touch with his constituents.

“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda. Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future,” the site notes.


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Jon Dougherty


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