Sunday, December 24, 2006

Palm Beach Says Donald Trump CAN'T Fly His American Flag

Donald Trump is suing Palm Beach for $10 million after being cited for flying an oversized U.S. flag over his Mar-a-Lago Club. Lawyers for the club filed a complaint saying flying the flag is a constitutionally protected expression of free speech — and the large flag is a proper match for the size of the real-estate mogul’s patriotism. “A smaller flag and pole on Mar-A-Lago’s property would be lost given its massive size, look silly instead of make a statement and most importantly would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump’s and the Club’s members’ patriotism,” the lawsuit said.Town officials said Trump violated zoning codes when the lavish club hoisted a 4.5 by 7.6-metre flag atop an 24-metre pole Oct. 3. The citation was for having a flagpole taller than 13 metres, for not obtaining a building permit and not seeking permission from the landmarks board. In the lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers accuse the town of selectively enforcing its ordinances. Other locations in the town display flags that violate statutes, the lawsuit alleges. All damages awarded to the club would be donated to veterans of the war in Iraq, the lawsuit said. Trump had until Nov. 27 to apply for approvals or else face a Dec. 21 hearing that could have resulted in fines costing $250 a day. It is unclear whether that meeting took place. “The day you need a permit to put up the American flag, that will be a sad day for this country,” Trump said