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August 15, 2022

Prairie Grove Municipal Code – Flying the American Flag Too Close To Your Property Line Violates Village Ordinance –

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 22, 2021

McHenry Co.  (ECWd) –

The Village Municipal Code of Prairie Grove has issued tickets to a local business in relation to their display of the American Flag, as reported here by the McHenry County Blog.  In reviewing the Village Ordinances, a few things jumped out, some of which we will address in this article while we save the best for last!

Who knew citizens and businesses who choose to fly our American Flag in the Village of Prarie Grove must comply with the village ordinance for “Sign Regulations“?

Who knew citizens and businesses who choose to fly our American Flag in the Village of Prarie Grove must obtain a permit to do so?

If you ask do you need a permit to fly the US Flag“, the answer would be no, according to the ordinance, but if you do so without getting a permit for the flagpole or staff which the flag is located you are in violation of the Village Sign regulation.

  • 2409(A)1 -The official flag of the United States of America shall not itself be the subject of a specific sign permit; rather these regulations are designed to control the use of permanent flagpoles or staff upon which the flag is located and the relationship of the flag to the flagpole or staff.

As if that is not enough to raise concern, keep reading.

  • 2409 (A)(3) – For the purposes of this Chapter, the display of official flags by any unit of government shall not be deemed public signs, and all units of government shall comply with the flagpole and flag relationship regulations of this Section.

So if a citizen or business display’s an official flag, such as the American Flag, is it deemed a public sign?  The way it’s written, units of governments who display an official flag will not have those flags deemed public signs.

When did the American Flag become a “sign”?

Considering a “public sign” is defined in the ordinance and it does not include official flags,  we wonder what attorney got paid to put this ordinance together.

“Public sign: Any sign required and erected by governmental bodies or specifically authorized for a public purpose by any law, statute, Chapter, or other official action. Such signs shall include, but not be limited to: traffic control signs; parking control signs; legal notices; railroad crossing signs; warning, danger and temporary emergency signs; street name signs; identification of public sites and facilities or of institutions; announcements of community events as designated by the governmental body; and the like.”

The McHenry County business was ticketed under two provisions in the sign regulation, 2409A4(a) and 2409A4(d)

  • 24.09A4(a) – Flags shall be displayed only on permanent flagpoles or staffs designed and constructed specifically and exclusively for flag display.
  • 24.09A4(d) – Flagpoles shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from the property line.

When flying the American Flag becomes a legal quagmire for people to sift through I think most would agree it’s time for a new Village Board.

Check back for the follow-up article that will expose major problems the Village is going to face on this matter.

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14 Comments
  • Dave
    Posted at 13:52h, 22 July

    Kinda sounds like a violation of freedom of speech

  • Cindy
    Posted at 15:53h, 22 July

    The people that make up these “ordinances” are known to others as morons.

  • Murfalini
    Posted at 16:04h, 22 July

    The American Flag must not or should not be the problem here. The Village Board is obviously overstepping here. This is wrong in part or in whole.

    Fly the flag, be proud, and be American !!!

  • Bob jorden
    Posted at 20:28h, 22 July

    They should be fired! They have a lot of time I there hands! Communist. Send them to Russia!

  • Donald Montgomery
    Posted at 08:29h, 23 July

    How sad this is to all Americans wishing to fly the American Flag. I fly an American Flag from my front porch as do other people in my community. It is displayed the same the the flags shown in this photo. The flag issue needs to be fixed by the village. Where is your common sense here!!!

  • kathiann
    Posted at 09:58h, 23 July

    We have to hound these people until the end of time because they love to change the language to make all of their rules so slippery as to evade all common sense…yes indeed what lawyer got paid (with taxpayer funds) to put this ordinance together? Call him/her out.

  • czechczech12
    Posted at 11:51h, 23 July

    Fools follow rules when they’ve lost sight of good intent. Wicked people will use rules when they know enough fools will follow them.

  • Cindy
    Posted at 08:17h, 24 July

    Amen, CZECHCZECH!

  • Aaron
    Posted at 09:26h, 24 July

    How much was the fine?

    • Kirk Allen
      Posted at 10:02h, 24 July

      $200.00

  • PK
    Posted at 15:30h, 24 July

    Two complaint/citations on the same day/time by the same police officer. Dazed and confused, the Village of Prairie Grove’s ‘municipal authority’ complex badger #8247 is officially requiring the business to make court appearance.

    ‘Right, officer Krupke you’re really a square’

  • Joyce clark
    Posted at 09:16h, 26 July

    The flag is not a signwe show respect to flag we pledge allegiance to our flag we dont stand and respect a sign leave our flag alone

  • Fuar Fearg
    Posted at 16:17h, 27 July

    If flags were only allowed to be displayed on permanent flag poles and staffs, there wouldnt be an exemption for “wall-mounted flags” section 29.05 A. 4(j)

    j. Wall-mounted official and corporate flags shall be displayed from
    flagpoles or staffs not to exceed 10 feet in length. No portion of such
    flagpoles or staffs shall extend above the roof line or over a property
    line.

  • Candice D.
    Posted at 21:19h, 19 September

    The flag wasn’t even hung properly. It was duct taped to a sign lol all they had to do was hang it properly and respectfully and move it back about 15 feet. And why are people so surprised about village ordinances? If you’re so interested go ahead and run for the board next election

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