NJ man defiant after ticket for flying Trump flag in his yard
A West Long Branch man is defying an municipal ticket and instructions to take down a Donald Trump flag from his front yard.
NBC 4 New York reported Joe Hornick was ticketed by the borough for flying the banner, which includes the "Make America Great Again" slogan of the Trump campaign, under an ordinance barring political signage more than 30 days before New Jersey's presidential primary on June 7.
"I'm not a football fan, I'm not a sports fan, but I'm surely a Donald Trump fan," he told the station. Hornick said he would be ready to serve a possible 90 day jail sentence for the violation, the most a municipality can issue for an ordinance violation.
Hornick said in a Facebook post on a West Long Branch Residents he's "a huge Donald Trump fan, and I specifically unconditionally support him in his bid for the office of President of the United States. Those are my views, and I have every right under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution to express my views and share them with others.
Hornick argued the ordinance applies to political lawn signs, not flags.
"The Borough permits many signs and 'flags' expressing various views to be displayed and flown 365 days a year," he wrote. "From real estate "for sale" signs, to 'Contractor' signs, to Wounded Warrior Flags, or many Holiday flags & decorations. Why no Donald J. Trump flag?"
According to a police report about the incident cited by NJ Advance Media, the ticket came after borough resident Brian Hegarty – a former Democratic councilman – police late last month asking why earlier complaints he's made to the municipal code enforcement officer about the flags hadn't yet resulted in any violations.
Hornick told the news publication a police official contacted him and said he could avoid a summons if he took the flag down, but he consulted with his attorney and refused.
"I will defend my rights in court and I will not take down my flag. Ever," Hornick wrote on Facebook. "Mr. Hegarty should be ashamed of himself. I will not be censored. God Bless America & Our Best Candidate In U.S. History. Donald J. Trump."