The ordinance is content neutral because it makes no distinction as to viewpoint or subject matter and advances no particular position. Rather, on its face, the ordinance prohibits the expression of all private viewpoints and instead reserves government flag poles for government flags. No private entity may attach its flag to the City's flag poles. There is simply no question that the ordinance does not regulate expression on the basis of content. Absent some discriminatory effect, allegations regarding the City’s motivation in enacting the ordinance do not alter the court's analysis.
The question of reasonableness is no less certain. ... [A]llowing a city-owned flag pole to serve as a public forum could suggest the government has placed its imprimatur on private expression. The Constitution does not compel a municipality to provide its citizens a bully pulpit, but rather requires it to refrain from using its own position of authority to infringe free speech.
It is unclear whether the SCV plans to appeal the ruling.
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