MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota man refuses to take down a “Trump 2020” flag that’s in violation of city ordinance.
Jay Johnson is flying the custom-made flag on a crane at his construction business in Buffalo, a small city near Minneapolis.
“It looks small because it’s 150 feet in the air, but it’s a pretty big flag,” Johnson said.
He says he took down the flag, which measures 50 feet by 30 feet, after the election — but decided to put it back up last month. Not long after, several of his work vehicles had their windows shot out by BB guns. Police are investigating.
“I’m willing to forgive the people that did it,” Johnson said. “They just got to come forward and admit it. I put a reward out.”
But now, Johnson is in violation of the law. Buffalo city ordinance says a sign that big needs to be licensed, which he hasn’t applied for. A city official says they’re determining how to proceed with enforcement.
“I’ll just put it up someplace else, and maybe even a bigger flag,” Johnson said.
He says the flag cost $1,000, and the crane cost $50,000.
“I am prepared to get the fines, ultimately get cuffed, go to jail, whatever,” he said.
Neighbors who see the flag every time they leave the house have mixed feelings.
“It doesn’t really bother me much, it’s just weird seeing it up again,” Patrick Cayanan said. “Like, are they campaigning again for 2024?”
Cody Hulstein believes the flag is divisive and would prefer to see an American flag.
The city says it’s received 100 or so formal comments about the flag, and they’re split about even between positive and negative.
Around the same time Johnson had his cars’ windows shot out, police say the same thing happened to a Trump merchandise pop-up across town. There are no suspects.