Fairfax County contemplating a flag ordinance

Virginia

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Many Fairfax County residents proudly fly flags, showing their patriotism or support for other entities, but soon they may be forced to remove them from their yards if they don’t meet county requirements.

Fairfax County is considering implementing a flag ordinance to regulate the size, height and number of flags both individual residents and businesses can fly. The Zoning Ordinance Modernization committee (zMOD) brought the proposal to the Fairfax Planning Commission for review on Feb. 3 and held a public hearing on Feb. 10.

“Fairfax County, where I live, is trying to ban flags if they’re bigger than a certain size set by some county bureaucrat,” expressed Daniel Gade, former Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.

Gade, along with other residents, spoke out against the potential ordinance at the recent public hearing.

“No other flag or display can in any way be equated to the American flag. For me, it is the right of every American to fly the American flag on their property. Please ensure this right is made clear in the pending zoning regulations,” Robert Maggi, a Fairfax County resident, said during the public hearing.

Another resident, Adrienne Whyte, said, “I’m wondering why flags and flag poles were rushed into the agenda. It seems like solution in search of a problem and I fear the solution could be worse than anything we are experiencing now.”

Some have also raised questions about why the American flag is not distinct from other flags. As the proposal stands now, it is treated the same, adhering to the same requirements.

“We’re not stopping anybody from flying an American flag if they want to, all we’re doing is putting parameters around the size, the location and the height,” said Leslie Johnson, zMOD zoning administrator.

Gade expressed concerns with the proposed flag requirements since they are smaller than the flag that drapes over a fallen soldier’s coffin. He’s asking residents to reach out to their local supervisors.

“Let’s make a stink about this because it’s ridiculous and the idea that a bureaucrat would tell us how big of an American flag to fly, right here in America, is offensive,” said Gade.

The board will reconvene on March 3 to discuss the ordinance. The ordinance proposal can be found here.

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