In Virginia’s largest county — Fairfax, officials are considering restrictions on the size and number of flags residents and businesses can display – with no exception for the American flag.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is due to vote on a proposal Wednesday that would:
–Reduce the size of flags to 24 square feet, which excludes the right to fly 50 square foot Fallen Hero Flags.
–Lower the height of flag poles to 25 feet.
–Limit the number of flags you can fly at your home to two, including national, state, military or college flags.
Daniel Gade is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, who earned two purple hearts. Gade also ran as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Virginia against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner last year.
Gade told Fox News in an interview this is not a partisan issue – it’s a free speech issue.
“It’s deeply personal,” Gade said. “And it seems like the fact that they’re banning the flag, that’s the size that flies over our coffins when we’re buried. That seems like a personal affront to Virginia’s 900,000 veterans, America’s 18 million veterans.”
“There’s a lot of veterans who feel very strongly about this, Democrat veterans, Republican veterans,” he continued. “We all feel very strongly about this. And I’m personally offended by what they’re trying to do here.”
Phillip A. Niedzielski-Eichner is a Fairfax County Planning Commissioner, who said at a recent meeting, “I hope to goodness that we find a way to exempt our American flag from any suggestion that it’s comparable to the other flag.”
But the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Jeffrey C. McKay told Fox News in a written statement that is not the case.
“The Supreme Court has ruled that free speech extends to all signs and flags – our ordinance cannot categorize flags based on content,” McKay said. “The proposed ordinance aims to allow residents to still fly flags proudly with reasonable guidelines, while protecting everyone’s First Amendment rights.”
If the Planning Commission signs off on the proposal tonight, it would then go to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors next Tuesday for final approval.