Winter Park Commission adopts new banner policy
After dust-up over Gay Pride flags, commissioners vote to change rules without debate
New restrictions now govern who can fly banners on public light poles in Winter Park after commissioners voted unanimously on the policy change that stemmed from complaints over Pride flags and cries of censorship by one resident who wasn’t allowed to fly a “Choose Life” message.
The vote on Wednesday came without any debate about the new rules, which prompted a lengthy discussion and public comments at a meeting earlier this month.
Bonnie Jackson, who said she represented Winter Park Republican Women Federated and filed the application for a flag showing a stick-figure family, including a pregnant woman, was the only person who spoke.
She made the application in June as the Winter Park Pride Project flew rainbow-colored peacock banners on city poles for the second year in a row.
“I followed the policy and for some reason this banner was objectionable,” she said on Wednesday. “I had to come down here multiple times just to be acknowledged.”
Commissioners said at the previous meeting that they favored changing the policy to prevent public property from becoming a venue for political or ideological messages.
The new policy limits flags to city-sponsored events or non-profits related to education, art or history with poles physically in front of their property such as the Morse Museum or Rollins and Valencia colleges.
If an applicant is denied, the decision can be appealed in front of the City Commission, according to the new policy.