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Sandy City Ordinance Revised to Protect First Amendment Rights

06 September 2006 Published in Legal Advocacy

Under a September settlement agreement, Sandy business owner Kody Sorenson will be able to continue flying ten American flags that are displayed around the rooftop of his store, Big Bob’s Floor Covering. The settlement agreement ended a dispute that began over a year ago, when Sandy City cited Sorenson with criminal charges for the flag display. Specifically, Sorenson was charged with violating a city ordinance that limited the number of “official flags” that business owners can fly.

The ordinance did not impose similar restrictions on other displays. Concerned that the ordinance violated his rights to expressive speech, Sorenson contacted the ACLU of Utah for help, writing that the flags are “a way I can show my support to those who have died in the war, who have fought, and to those who are putting lives on the line to protect freedom and our country.” Attorneys from the firm Skordas, Caston & Hyde worked with the ACLU of Utah to represent Sorenson and his right to display the flags under the First Amendment. As a result of negotiations with Sandy City, all criminal charges were dropped and the unconstitutional sign ordinance was amended. Additionally, Sorenson is allowed to keep his flag display at Big Bob’s Floor Covering.

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