City campground ban on flags,
except the American flag and the POW/MIA flag
Conkle, Daniel O.
conkle at indiana.edu
Tue May 25 07:07:01 PDT 2004
Isn't the city's best argument that a campground is not a public forum
and that a viewpoint-neutral restriction on private flags, signs,
banners, etc., is a reasonable means of protecting the park's natural
and esthetic character in order to preserve the park for its intended
purposes? If so, the key question would be whether the city's
restriction indeed is viewpoint-neutral. Needless to say, once the city
begins to make exceptions, the argument is more difficult to maintain.
From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu
[mailto:conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu] On Behalf Of Volokh, Eugene
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 8:09 PM
Subject: City campground ban on flags,except the American flag and the
According to the Muncie Star-Press,
> MUNCIE - At least one unhappy camper is considering legal action after
> city park department banned Confederate battle flags from its
> Prairie Creek Reservoir.
> Mayor Dan Canan has this message for those complaining that the ban
> their rights: "I don't care."
> "Their right is to go to another campground," the mayor said.
> "We have a long waiting list for those campsites."
> The ban is one of several new rules being imposed by the city
> in response to complaints that the campground has become a
> taxpayer-subsidized, semi- permanent trailer park nicknamed
> "Springerville" - after the raunchy Jerry Springer television show.
> The Star Press recently received two letters to the editor
> complaining that the city not only had banned Confederate flags but
> prohibiting NASCAR, Colts and Pacers flags.
> "You have to draw the line somewhere for the overall
> aesthetics of the park," Canan said. . . .
> "It's a recreational campground on city property," city park
> board President John Parker responded. "Once things like that
> flags] start, where does it stop? Then it's Miller Lite banners. I
> trying to maintain a clean, family-oriented atmosphere."
> Park Supt. Ron Bonham said: "This isn't their [campers']
> property. This is city-leased park property. I had a complaint last
year from a
> black family who was offended. They [the campers flying the flag] say
> not prejudiced, which is fine, but I don't think a public park is a
> that. If they want to fly it at their house, that's fine. If they
> they can go to some other parks and fly rebel flags and all these
other flags, that's OK." . . .
I have since been told by a person familiar with the situation that "The
policy banning Confederate flags at Prairie Creek Reservoir campground
is not in writing. . . . The new flag policy is that American flags and
POW-MIA flags are permitted. The park rangers have told campers to
remove all other flags including NASCAR, Indianapolis Colts, Budweiser,
etc., or face loss of the the camp site. . . ."
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