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This isn’t your ordinary banner. The huge red and white letters spill over a three-story balcony, obviously visible to locals and visitors to our heavily commuted, two-lane road called Scenic 30-A, in the Florida Panhandle. Scenic 30-A in South Walton, currently the fastest growing County in Florida, hosts extremely rare coastal dune lakes, soft white sandy beaches that line emerald waters, and some of the priciest real estate in the state. I travel this corridor weekly, checking property for my customers. I’ve passed this mega-banner many times.
It started out displaying “Trump 2020.” After the disputed election, it shouted “Trump Won!” This is a conservative part of Florida and no one makes a fuss. It’s not always there. I think the owner displays it when he’s in town. It’s a casual beach town, and now sporting more visitors and new permanent residents than ever before, especially since COVID.
This evening, our local news reported that the banner is causing a scuffle (for the first time since the election). The owner of the property is from Georgia and is having none of it. In fact, he’s thinking of adding a “Let’s Go Brandon” banner!
Further challenging the county, Peavy declared Sunday that on this upcoming Saturday, he’ll be hanging a second banner at his house, reading “Let’s go, Brandon!” The sign should be up by 3 a.m. Saturday, he said Monday.
Update, Nov. 1: Haha!
It’s on his property and he is threatening to sue Walton County, claiming his freedom of speech is being violated. This is a $7 million property. I’m sure his taxes are off the charts. No one has complained before and the “banner” is not on the right-of-way or public land.
Marvin Peavy, a businessman from Georgia who owns a home in Seagrove Beach, says he may not only sue Walton County but is also considering adding a second sign reading “Let’s go, Brandon!”, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported Friday.” At an Oct. 20 code enforcement hearing, the “Trump Won” banner was found to be in violation of county rules regarding signs along 30A, which is designated as a scenic corridor. Those rules don’t have anything to do with the political content of signs, they just prohibit any kind of signs or flags on property along the beachfront road, the newspaper reported.
He’s getting a lot of support from locals, who said removal of the sign violated his First Amendment rights.
What’s taken so long if it was in violation? The ordinance in Walton County may state no signage on public property, but I am not aware of anything regarding private property. Even so, he’s willing to pay the fine! He called and asked where should he send the “fine” money, and no one knew! I smile every time I see it. Yet…
Many things seem “to matter” these days. Black Lives Matter. It’s painted on a major road in huge letters, visible to all who visit Washington DC. While we can agree on the humanitarian and moral statement, many do not subscribe to the political doctrine behind this organization, yet it remains. “My Body – My Choice” is the mantra of the pro-abortion crowd, yet this same statement does not apply to those who refuse the COVID vaccination and want to retain their freedom, liberty, and employment.
When do the rights of private citizens matter, and expression through Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and even the right to protest, as stated in our US Constitution take precedence? Mr. Peavy is testing those very rights.Published in