Political candidates can inspire supporters to show loyalty with bumper stickers, T-shirts, buttons and yard signs – a tattoo parlor in New Hampshire even offers a “Trump Stamp” because in America, those outward displays of opinion, even in the from of permanent body art, are part of our long history of freedom of expression and political views.

Reactions to these exhibitions can range from a thumbs-up to a dirty look, but rarely does a supporter expect the police to show up at the door to issue a court summons, which happened to a New Jersey man for the offense of flying a flag exhibiting his support of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

Joe Hornick has flown the blue flag bearing Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” in front of his home in West Long Branch, New Jersey since February, lighting it at night and replacing it on five occasions after vandals tore it down, but the police only took action after a Democrat neighbor insisted.

The police report notes that former Democrat councilman Brian Hegarty contacted them demanding to know why Hornick had not been cited after his numerous complaints about the flag.

Ordinances prohibit display of political signage more than the 30 days prior to election days; the New Jersey primary election is on June 7.

Hornick, who is a former firefighter, faces a $2,000 fine and 90 days in jail when he appears in court on April 20.

He argues that the flag is not a sign as defined in the ordinance, which allows flags of all kinds, including those with the colors and logos of sports teams to be flown.

“I’m not a football fan, I’m not a sports fan, but I’m surely a Donald Trump fan,” he said, “what’s so offensive about a flag that advocates wanting America to be great?”

The Trump fan added, “I’m not taking the flag down, and if I do 90 days in jail, I’ll do 90 days in jail.”

It is not known if the Republican presidential candidate, New York billionaire is aware of Hornick’s extraordinary support.

 

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