WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man is facing a fine for flying flags supporting Donald Trump.
Joseph Hornick thought police on March 25 were responding to his reports that the flags proclaiming “Trump Make America Great Again” flying outside his West Long Branch home had been vandalized. Instead, he was ticketed for violating an ordinance that restricts the display of political signs.
According to the police report, a resident who is a former Democratic councilman questioned why the municipal code enforcement officer had not cited Hornick.
“I’m not a football fan. I’m not a sports fan, but I’m surely a Donald Trump fan,” Hornick told New York’s WNBC-TV. The Republican said he has a right to express himself.
The town considers the flags supporting the Republican presidential candidate the same as political lawn signs, acting borough administrator Lori Cole said. “The ordinance states no political sign shall be displayed sooner than 30 days prior to the date of the election or the decision of the issue is scheduled,” she said.
New Jersey’s primary is June 7.
Violators face a minimum fine of $100. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000, 90 days in jail or both.
“I’m not taking the flag down, and if I do 90 days in jail, I’ll do 90 days in jail,” Hornick said.
His court date is April 20.
Cole would not comment on Hornick’s summons.