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Around the Campfire: RV parks are no place for political banners… are they?

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Everyone knows the mid-term elections are near. By now, most voters have made up their minds about who they’ll vote for and why. In fact, many folks may have already voted. Knowing that we’d be away on Voting Day, my husband and I were happy that in Missouri we were able to vote early. (More about voting from your RV here.) With all of that in mind, it was kind of a surprise to see so many political flags and signs in our most recent RV park. We talked about it around the campfire: Should political banners and signs be in RV parks?

A free country for political banners

Tom was the first to speak: “I decided to take our RV out one last time this fall to escape all the political noise! Now, what do I see as I pull into my place of respite? More political junk in my face. I don’t think it should be allowed.”

Bonnie agreed with Tom but offered, “Well, it’s a free country, so I guess the park didn’t want to get into the middle of it. I noticed that they’re allowing both sides to be represented…”

“Well, I don’t like it,” Tom complained. “An RV park is no place for political signs and banners.”

Emphasis on ‘free’

“I think it’s the RVer’s right to put up anything they want, seeing as this is a free country,” Bill stated. “As long as the banner or yard sign is on their RV site, who cares?”

“Some of the signage is off-putting. I don’t care if it’s their right—their freedom of speech,” Tom countered. “What about my right to enjoy nature and forget politics for a couple of days?”

“Besides,” said someone else. “That one sign is really offensive. And a Confederate flag? Come on! I think camp management should eliminate all flags and signs.”

“All of them?” worried Ann. “We’ve got a small Thanksgiving flag about the size of a manila envelope. Should that also be disallowed?”

What do you think? Should political and/or any signs and banners be allowed in RV parks? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s note: Any off-the-mark comments will be deleted. In other words, please answer Gail’s generic question above only. 

##RVT1076

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172 Comments
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Julie
1 month ago

Frankly, I’m scared and worried to hear all the comments that feel like flags, signs, and banners are meant to influence them! Its not always about you!!! Sometimes people just want to show their interests. Afterall if I see a “I lovemy beagle” or a Jewish Star of David I don’t automatically think they are trying to make me get a beagle or become Jewish.

UpriverJouce
1 month ago

Only 7 more days of this to bother us, I hope…
Anyone with 1/2 a brain already knows who or what they are going to vote for, enough of the ads, PLEASE!….Thank-you..

wanderer
1 month ago

So sick of seeing partisan banners marring the landscape, year after year, year round. As far as in a campground, I could understand in the month leading up to an election, maybe, though they seem pointless for making any impact on the outcome. People are there to have fun in nature, not to hear your opinion. No one wants to look out their window and see your political opinion smack in their face, day in and day out.

If I stayed in a hotel, and the door next to mine had a hostile campaign sign on it, it would not strike me as ‘normal’ or ‘free speech’ , it says ‘there’s a belligerent person staying in that room’.

If a campground can tell me not to wash my car, to pick up dog poop, not leave the shower door open, etc., it can tell people to leave their political signs at home, and I dearly wish they had the courage to do so.

Ke Om
1 month ago

Well, if everyone just paid no mind to them, neither side would get upset and imagine if the business said that “if you negatively comment about another camper or site and start an altercation, the party initiating the argument will be asked to leave”. We all should be able to play together in the sandbox and sometimes we need reminders of this. I don’t go ripping out the signs from your front lawn so please don’t do it to me…. be nice and remember the saying “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

Ted
1 month ago

I’ll try to be civil.Normally I’d go off on the camper complaining about political signage. So I’ll simply defer to our very smart founding “fathers”. Please re-read their 1st Amendment to our “Bill of Rights”. IF the CG owners can ban all signs, banners, and flags, I’ll just camp somewhere else. 🇺🇸

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted

I have read it, and it pertains to the government, not private business.

DPJ
1 month ago

I just wonder if anyone has decided to switch sides seeing a flag, banner and especially a rude flag or banner? My Hubby & I just say it shows that that person is showing their intelligence. Seeing a Mom with kids in the cart with a (F*%k) Biden shirt is just hateful. Can it be outlawed? No, but maybe if people could be encouraged by our leaders & elected members to take the high road and let’s get back to being Americans and united in that, agreeing to agree to disagree for a change. I am a dreamer but always hoped my Grand Children would be inheriting a better world.

crabbyolddad
1 month ago

Being a tree hugging Liberal, I fully understand the Free Country argument. But I also admit to a double standard. When does “free speech” become abusive, invasive and downright profane? I’ll fully agree that political flags and signs have no place in an RV park or in a marina, but I also know that I’m wishing for a non existent miracle.

Cheryl V Clark
1 month ago

I’m old school. I think my political choices are my business and no one else’s. I was taught it’s bad manners to argue politics. I don’t have bumper stickers or signs. Yet it’s a free country, so if you want to invite controversy, have at it.

Burt
1 month ago

People need to educate themselves about the Confederate flag.
The South was/is something to be very proud of.

Julie
1 month ago
Reply to  Burt

I agree with you, Burt. The confederate flag and the rainbow among other symbols have been taken over by popular culture and given new meanings.

Ted
1 month ago
Reply to  Julie

I couldn’t agree more.

Steve Heye
1 month ago

Never, Never has a campaign sign made me vote FOR a person. All a sign does is tell others your position. And just like that you’ve scared off half of the people who would have at least stopped and said hello, let alone spend an hour or two and swap stories with you.

David Nelson
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Heye

Well said 🙂

Julie
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Heye

While you say it hasn’t made you vote one way or another…it has influenced who you will talk to…which is a shame. You might be missing out on a great new friend.

David Nelson
1 month ago

I don’t think it’s bad for rver’s to fly political flags or banners, after all they are in your neighborhoods. Now, that doesn’t mean you should fly something with vulgarity on it (no matter what the Supreme Court says), it’s just common sense courtesy towards your fellow campers.

LawTrekker
1 month ago

Interesting that the photo you chose was of an RV flying a Canadian flag. I don’t know of any RV parks that would ban flying flags of a friendly nation, although I could understand a private park deciding to ban Russian flags or Confederate flags. (I’m not sure that a government-owned park could do even that). But, if someone bans Russian flags, how about Ukrainian flags? What about flying the Stars and Stripes upside down? And don’t forget the tow vehicles and toads — many of those have bumper stickers with political messages.

My most uncomfortable political moment at an RV park didn’t involve displays but a woman verbally disparaging immigrants. That’s not something a park can forbid.

The safest thing is probably for management to allow displays of everything. That way the rest of us know whom to avoid.

Jeanette
1 month ago

Unfortunately, we have encountered some offensive political flags across the country. . . Especially in Arizona. I was really upset with a man putting up his new, very large “Brandan” flag under the the American flag. I did ask him if he thought it was necessary to put out his political feelings when we just wanted to enjoy the peacefulness of the campground. In all the years since we’ve been camping, there has never been so much “meanness” . . .only since “he who shall not be named” was president! Please, let us go back to a time of enjoying our time camping. . .
Jeanette

LawTrekker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanette

I’m with you about offensiveness and “He who shall not be named.” The problem is that banning speech doesn’t end meanness. Maybe a bunch of us should fly flags saying “I respect all people.” At least, we’d be leading by example.

DPJ
1 month ago
Reply to  LawTrekker

I love this!

Joseph Leopold
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanette

Perhaps the mean person here is you. As long as the flag is on another person’s paid for site it would be mean of anyone to object. Especially since the flag brings joy to the person displaying it on the property they own for that time period. So, be kind, not mean.

LawTrekker
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph Leopold

Joseph, it isn’t “mean” to object to someone’s banner, as long as the one objecting does so politely and respectfully. A banner or flag is a form of communication, and communication invites a response. The whole purpose of the speech clause of the First Amendment is to keep communication going. While the First Amendment does not directly apply to private property, I would argue that its spirit should nonetheless prevail. However, we all need to remember the old adage about catching more flies with honey than vinegar.

Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanette

It’s a free speech choice to fly any kind of banner or flag. However, there are rules for flying the American Flag. Political, commercial flags can not be flown on the same pole as the US flag.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

It’s free speech to belch in a restaurant, but there are consequences.

Kathy
1 month ago

I am not sure I’ve ever seen so many comments on any story in this newsletter. That alone proves just how divisive this issue can be. I never was that political-minded until the Trump administration and now I just do not want to know what anyone thinks about politics. I find many folks will judge a person based on their politics and I prefer NOT to know the opinions of others. I want to know the person for much more than only their political views. I am terribly offended by some of the crudeness of political flags and ads these days and cannot wait for the next election to be over. I am not a fan of Donald Trump but I will say he was very smart in one area — he used flags everywhere and the old, out-of-date, flags are still displayed. I do not want to see political flags or signs in a campground.

Suru
1 month ago

I’ve been to hundreds of campgrounds and only one time did I see someone displaying a political banner. Thus, I wonder how much of a problem this really is. Honestly, displaying a political flag or banner at a campground wouldn’t be something that I would ever do and I don’t know why someone would want to. However, I do wholeheartedly support the first amendment. I think once you start banning free speech in certain places then you’ve started sliding down that slippery slope.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Suru

The first pertains to the government, not private businesses. They can ban whatever speech or actions they feel cause customers to go elsewhere.

Last edited 1 month ago by chris
Ke Om
1 month ago
Reply to  chris

if that were true, then we wouldn’t have all these cases popping up in front of the Supreme and Appellate Courts about businesses banning private transactions and “artistic freedom” …..

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Ke Om

I can read. You can sue anyone for anything.

Last edited 1 month ago by chris
Cary Graus
1 month ago

I agree that no flags and political signs should be allowed. Let people enjoy their time away without worrying about who and what to say or not say. Politics has caused enough damage and division to our country already. At least let our camping time away be stress free and enjoyable.

LawTrekker
1 month ago
Reply to  Cary Graus

Unfortunately, it is not very easy to define what is political and what isn’t. For example, a person who puts up a “happy holidays” sign could be viewed as being friendly and wishing people good cheer. However, others may argue that a generic sign is an attack on Christmas — not too farfetched considering that a recent president vowed to end a supposed war on Christmas allegedly consisting of “happy holiday” greetings. So, is a “happy holidays” sign political or not? Call in King Solomon to decide.

Ted
1 month ago
Reply to  LawTrekker

I agree. Maybe the camper with a “Go Brandon” flag was simply flying in honor of their famous grandson sports star?

wanderer
1 month ago
Reply to  LawTrekker

That’s why ‘none’ is a good policy. I really would prefer to see the birds and trees and squirrels, not the trappings of civilization people want to bring to a campground. Bring your rig and some lawn chairs and leave it at that. It’s a campground, not a town square.

SoCal Poboy
1 month ago

Some people have no problem expressing their opinions no matter how popular or unpopular they are.
Unfortunately freedom of speech can often be ugly but not as ugly as the alternative.

Ace
1 month ago

I do not like censorship; even when I disagree with the other person’s viewpoint. Censorship is a bad road to go down. I prefer that campers do not fly political or tasteless flags but I will defend their right to do so. Not all HOA’s ban political signs; I’m glad I live in an area that allows them, even when I get tired of seeing them.
I am not against banning vulgar language or hateful flags/posters. I also prefer to keep politics out of the campground but it should be voluntary and not censored or mandatory.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ace
Ted
1 month ago
Reply to  Ace

I agree Ace. I don’t like mandatory either. I’ve had enough mandatory the last two years.

D Lyons
1 month ago

Housing developments with HOA’s ban political signs of any type, So RV parks and campgrounds can obviously do the same and more need to do so.

Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
1 month ago
Reply to  D Lyons

Preach!

Sue Freivald
1 month ago

Free speech is important. So long as a flag isn’t pornographic or obscene, then it should be absolutely fine. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look. On the other hand, it could be a good indication that those particular folks are some you’d (1) be better off avoiding, or (2) provide an opportunity for some very good, courteous, conversation about differences/issues/agreements. Take your pick. You don’t have to fly any flags, or put any bumper stickers on your vehicles, or wear any message Tee shirts. But you have no valid reason to prevent others from doing so. Think of it as an opportunity – for avoidance or engagement!

TerryH
1 month ago
Reply to  Sue Freivald

YUP, WALK WAY AND DO NOT attempt to visit or engage if you dislike their rig, clothes, hair style, speech or flag.

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