A group of residents is warning that allowing “polarizing” political flags to fly in The Villages is damaging the reputation of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Ivy Jones of the Village of Pennecamp appeared Friday morning before the Community Development District 8 Board of Supervisors and served as as spokesperson for a group of about a dozen friends and neighbors attending the meeting.
They are unhappy with the fact there is no prohibition against political flags flying in The Villages.
“Something needs to be done about these flags. They are polarizing,” Jones said. “They are prominently displayed day after day, year after year.”
Jones did not single out any particular political message or party.
“A sports flag is one thing. But when you are talking about language on a flag, that’s different,” she said. “We are wary of the in-your-face politics. These displays don’t change minds.”
She said the political flags are a black mark on The Villages. Some at the meeting suggested people are moving out of The Villages because of the political climate here.
Residents questioned the difference between signs and flags. There are restrictions on signs throughout most of The Villages, but not so when it comes to flags, particularly when it comes to content.
“The District does not regulate the content of any flag. They only thing we regulate is the height of the flagpole and where the flagpole is placed,” said Assistant District Manager Carrie Duckett.
Jones asked what would be done if a swastika flag was being flown.
Supervisor Duane Johnson said the situation is not unique to The Villages.
“We are seeing this polarization all over the country,” Johnson said.