The city of Avondale Estates did not approve a Donald Trump campaign sign that appeared during its annual Fourth of July parade last week. But the city reaffirmed the participant had the First Amendment right to display the sign.
In a statement Wednesday, Avondale Estates said it “regrets that the divisive nature of a certain float that participated in the parade had a negative impact on some community members’ enjoyment of the event.”
At the end of the beloved parade through the small DeKalb County city, a silver pickup truck rolled down the street, with a large sign that said “Trump,” “Pence” and “2020” pinned to its front, according to a video stream of the parade posted to YouTube. The sign also said “Make America Great Again.”
The truck was pulling a float that said “friends of Santa,” which was partially covered in Christmas decorations.
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In the past, the city said, “floats have respected the nature of the parade by avoiding displaying divisive political messages.” It clarified that the Trump sign was not approved by city officials, and it only expressed “a participant’s private opinion.”
“However,” it continued, “the city believes firmly in the free speech guarantee of the First Amendment and will continue to respect this fundamental right.”
In the video posted online, some spectators are seen shaking their head at the float.
Some residents posted on social media and expressed their frustration with the Trump sign. In comments on the city’s official Facebook page, several people said they were shocked to see politics play a part in the parade. Others, however, said they were not offended by anything they saw, and emphasized that the First Amendment gave the float the right to display the Trump sign.
The city itself, like much of DeKalb County, leans decidedly liberal. In the 2016 presidential election, more than 70% of the area voted for Hillary Clinton.
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