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UPDATE: Profanity censored on controversial sign

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:11 PM EST
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - A large anti-Biden flag on a house in Jackson has a word you don’t see often displayed in public. It’s raising eyebrows and questions about the First Amendment.

“Saturday afternoon, we were getting ready to go out to lunch and sure enough, there’s the sign, and I’m like, ‘Really? That’s just so offensive,’” said neighbor Steven Gilbert.

Other neighbors agree but did not want to go on camera.

Gilbert, who is a Republican, says his reaction has nothing to do with politics.

“It’s the word itself. It’s not the statement that it’s making. It’s that word,” said Gilbert.

He called Jackson Police who cited the First Amendment and said there’s nothing they can do about it. However, a spokesman for the city tells News 10 an ordinance prohibits signs that contain “statements, words or pictures of an obscene or pornographic nature.”

“I think it’s up to those people to take it down. It’s just offensive. Put stop the steal or Trump 2024 or anything but just the ‘f-word.’ Get rid of it,” said Gilbert.

The police department is consulting with the city attorney to see if they can take action. Michigan used to have a law banning profanity in front of women and children. Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill repealing that law in 2015.

Since WILX News 10 first reported on this story on Monday the sign has been altered to partially obscure the profanity.

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