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Councilmember Friedman tried to limit residents’ ability to fly the American Flag

A couple years ago, the American flag became a hot topic in Clyde Hill. In particular, limiting residents’ ability to fly the American flag. Central to this controversy was Councilmember Steve Friedman, current candidate for Mayor, and former Councilmember Scott Moore.

A series of events led to city staff asking the Planning Commission to review amendments to Clyde Hill city code related to flying flags. The Planning Commission reviewed the code, and other cities’ code — finding nothing like it elsewhere — and took public comment. Comments received by the public were not supportive of limiting flag flying.

Unsatisfied with the Planning Commission’s recommendation Councilmember and candidate for Mayor Steve Friedman wrote (with the help of former Councilmember Moore) his own flag-flying restrictions.

Friedman’s flag restrictions included:

  • Limiting flagpole height to 12 feet
  • Not allowing flags attached to your house to be higher than the eaves
  • Limiting flag locations to the front yard
  • Limiting flag size to 4’x6’
  • Not allowing flags to be illuminated at night, except during Federal Holidays

Usually, when new regulations are passed, they allow previous, nonconforming uses to be “grandfathered.” Friedman’s self-written flag-flying restrictions removed grandfather provisions! So, if Councilmember Friedman had his way, many Clyde Hill flags would have had to come down.

Worse, if possible, Friedman’s restrictions on lighting the flag at night directly violate US Flag Code.

In addition to limiting your rights, it also cost taxpayers $12,451.95, according to an October 18, 2022 presentation at a city council meeting.

It is essential for residents to stay informed about what is happening in their city – and how their freedom to even fly a flag on their property is at risk if people like Councilmember Steve Friedman are left unchecked. Friedman has filed to run for mayor. He should not go unopposed. If you’re interested in learning more about running for Mayor, reach out to us at [email protected], and we can tell you more, or you can begin filing right nowBut time is short. The deadline to file is Friday, May 19, at 4 p.m. 

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