CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Offensive, but not illegal. People living in a Southwest Cape Coral neighborhood say they want a flag that has a vulgar word in front of President-Elect Joe Biden's name, taken down.
The 2020 Presidential Election is over, but support for President Donald Trump shows no signs of slowing with several Trump Pence flags waving in Cape Coral lawns.
In some cases, they're accompanied by anti-Biden flags. But, some say one homeowner on SW 17th Pl. has taken it too far with a vulgar four-letter word in front of President-Elect Biden's name.
Fort Myers Attorney Michael Chionopoulos says when it comes to politics, you can say whatever you want as long as it doesn't incite violence, cause harm or is a form of hate speech.
“I think that's inappropriate, but I still think it's protected speech. It's about politics, and we have free speech about politics,” he said.
But, one neighbor says it's not the politics they're upset about. It's seeing a curse word so close to Oasis Elementary School, which is just a couple miles away from the sign.
Chionopoulos says offensive or not, the homeowner has the right to display that flag.
“I don't like free speech to be exercised in that way, because I think it's derogatory. I think it's bad for the community. But, nonetheless, we don't get to pick and chose what constitutional rights people have,” he said.
Fox 4 cameras also saw a Trump flag, with Trump's face photoshopped onto a boxer's body on a utility pole on 38th Terrace. That pole is in someone's front lawn. So, Chionopoulos says it comes down to whether or not the utility company owns the land where the pole stands.
“The question would become, do they actually own that easement? If they do, posting your free speech there is posting it on somebody else's property,” said Chionopoulos.
In a statement, a city spokesperson said Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) owns that easement:
A Code Officer checked the area and opened a Code case due to two signs on the utility poles. The officer spoke to the homeowner who indicated that the sign will be removed. The case will be closed if the signs are removed when the officer rechecks the property.