International Falls resident Sal Diquinzio said he agreed to take down a flag on his property, when asked nicely by a local police officer.
The flag included a word considered profane in the English language, and offensive by many people.
Diquinzio told The Journal he didn’t want to make a big deal about the request, but he said there may be principals, such as the constitutional right to free speech, at stake that are larger than the flag that described his feelings about President Joe Biden.
He said he understood that some people might not want their kids to see the word on the flag, but wondered where it would stop, because what’s offensive to one person may not be to another.
International Falls Police Capt. Mike Kostiuk said a concerned citizen who drove by Diquinzio’s residence on Third Avenue East complained about the flag, prompting the police to discuss it with Diquinzio.
“We are obviously cognizant of First Amendment rights and Sal was generous enough to agree to take it down,” Kostiuk said, adding no citations were issued.
Kostiuk said the situation would have been handled the same, regardless of the name or political affiliation, as the main concern was the profanity.
“We have not received a complaint of this nature prior to this, but would advise anyone that they have the same right to call law enforcement with any concerns they may have,” he said.
In the meantime, Diquinzio said he has again raised the flag, but after making a minor modification, involving a one letter change, and it still conveys his feelings about the president.