Acting on behalf of an organization planning a benefit to raise money for the families of active military personnel, the ACLU of Colorado today challenged the Town of Parker’s ban on the display of banners and American flags during the special event planned for June 4 at a privately owned restaurant in Parker.
Gary Adler, President and CEO of the Pro Players Association, asked for the ACLU’s assistance after Parker officials insisted that his application for a permit depended on his agreement to comply with the Town’s conditions. He was told that flags and banners are forbidden. According to Adler, at a public hearing held to consider his fundraiser, the City Attorney confirmed that even a display of the American flag was forbidden under the Town’s rules.
In a letter sent to the Parker Town Attorney today, the ACLU explained that the City’s effort to enforce a “no flags” and “no banners” rule violates the sponsor’s First Amendment rights.
“Forbidding the display of the American flag violates not only the Constitution,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU Legal Director. “It also violates common sense. There is no legitimate justification for imposing such an absurd prohibition on the sponsor of any event. It is particularly offensive in this case, where the sponsor expects an honor guard in military uniforms to be carrying American flags as part of the event’s patriotic message.”
The ACLU’s letter asks that the Town Attorney issue the requested permit and immediately withdraw any threat to enforce the “no flags” and “no banners” rule during the Celebrity Bartender Night planned for June 4 at Joe’s Crab Shack in Parker.
* Letter to the City of Parker
About the ACLU of Colorado
The ACLU is a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to defending and preserving the principles of the Bill of Rights through litigation, advocacy and public education. The ACLU Foundation of Colorado works to protect the rights of all Coloradans.