Lafayette council discusses flag flying issue - KLFY News 10

Lafayette council discusses flag flying issue

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Andy Naquin Andy Naquin

Lafayette Consolidated Government leaders may soon be able to resolve the flag flying issue. Recently Councilman Andy Naquin proposed a ban on flying private flags on government property. The issue came about after a gay rights flag was spotted flying in Girard Park. Naquin said he's not bashing gay rights. He's just wants to get a handle on what should and should not fly .

City Attorney Mike Hebert captured the council's attention. Especially councilman William Theriot's.

"Can any flag be flown on a government flag pole?" asked Theriot. "No. The government has the right to say that certain flags cannot be flown," answered Hebert.

Hebert explained to the council that local government can restrict - the kinds of flags that fly on its flag poles. In the same wind - the government can permit the flying of certain flags because they're close enough to government speech.

"I noticed that there's a flag flying outside city hall saying "Tree City USA", I think that's perfectly permissible under any first amendment analysis because that's government speech. That's the government essentially advertising itself or advertising something,"said Hebert.

And for Hebert that's okay. He says he doesn't think it's particularly necessary to have a definite ordinance or regulation. He contends that flag flying rules can be laid out through an administrative policy.

"You either have to allow anyone who expresses any viewpoint on a flag to fly a flag or nobody who wants to express a particular viewpoint." said Hebert.

No decision was made on the issue. The council merely sought counsel. This discussion was not on the council's agenda. It was brought up by a resident during public comment time.

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