The Planning Commission of Fairfax County, Virginia is currently weighing a plan to limit the size of flags that homeowners may flag to 24 square feet, lower the maximum height of flagpoles to 25 feet, and set a limit of 2 flags.
On February 10th, zoning administrator Leslie Johnson said that her agency came up with the plan because the county believes that it may not treat the American flag differently from banners displaying political opinions. She said that “somebody may want to fly the Confederate flag, the American flag, the QAnon flag.” Johnson continued by admitting that they do not get a lot of complaints on the issue, but that they would be “remiss if we didn’t at least look at this and put some kind of regulation.”
Adriene Whyte, a resident of the county, said that it seems like a solution “in search of a problem.”
Bill Denk, another resident, told the county commissioners that to honor his military-vet father, he once flew the flag that adorned his casket. He noted that those flags are five-by-ten, and like the more common five-by-eight flags, those would no longer be allowed if the new regulation were to pass.
“I do not think any of us would like to envision Fairfax County code compliance officers ripping the American flag from flag poles of individual homeowners because the flag was more than 24 square feet? Or do you?” he asked.
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner added the following:
“I hope to goodness we find a way to exempt our American flag from any suggestion that it’s comparable to any other flag. I understand the content [neutrality] issue, but particularly in these times where as a country, it’s important that our symbols matter, I hope we don’t make an equivalency between our American flag and all other flags.”
If the planning commission approves the restrictions, they will go to the county board of supervisors for county approval.