The constitutional fish tale from Clearwater, Florida is getting more difficult to believe with the appearance of city officials in court over their crackdown on the posting of the first amendment on the side of a fish and bait shop. As discussed earlier, Complete Angler and its owner Herb Quintero was first fined for simply painting a mural of fish on the side of the building. They were told that it constituted a “sign.” When he covered the mural with a copy of the first amendment, he was hit with another threatened fine. Now, the city has said that they would not fine him for handing the American flag but not the first amendment.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Jenkins is considering whether to give the shop a protective injunction while the ACLU litigates the question. Clearwater planning director Michael Delk explained the position of the city that a flag is fine but the Constitution is verboten.
Of course, Lord only knows what would happen if businesses posted quotations from the Constitution. Rampant expressions of civil liberties and stubborn defenses of core principles of freedom. What is particularly striking is that the flag is a transient symbol of the United States, which has changed repeatedly. The Constitution is the very core of the country, the defining symbol of what it is to be American.
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6 thoughts on “Fish Tale: Clearwater Officials Decide That Bait Shop Can Display the Flag But Not the First Amendment”
In the paper today, http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/article981235.ece
it quotes City Manager as saying “I happen to believe we did the right thing.” Obviously his position is not an elected one. Check out http://www.keepthefish.com for other info on this story.
Ah, what level of scrutiny to apply….
It is now a matter of the City trying to save face for their dumb activity. I agree with gnome that there is more underlying this case, but the reasons for the City’s actions remain fishy.
Fantastic showing on O’s show last night, btw.
“The Constitution is the very core of the country, the defining symbol of what it is to be American.”
Although this SHOULD be true, I am afraid it isn’t, any more. We can always “hope” for “change” that it will, again, be this way.
City of Jerkwater
I bet those are the same yahoos that get their panties bunched up over flag burning too, but fully endorse Gitmo.
Florida. Home of Joe Scarborough. That about sums it up.
There has to be more to the story. Isn’t Clearwater the Hq of Scientology these days. Do they influence the town government?
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