Editor’s note: On Jan. 18, 2007, Palm Beach officials voted to fine Donald
Trump $1,250 a day for flying the large American flag at his club. Trump said he
wouldn’t pay any fines and would keep the flag flying. But after six months, the officials and Trump agreed on a settlement. All fines were dropped. In return, the flag was lowered 10 feet and moved away from the ocean. Trump also agreed to drop what became a $25 million lawsuit against the town, and donate $100,000 to charities benefiting Iraq war veterans, the American flag and veterans’ hospitals.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump is suing this oceanside town for $10 million
after being cited for flying an oversized American flag over his Mar-a-Lago
Attorneys for the club filed a complaint on Dec. 21, saying that flying the
flag is a constitutionally protected expression of free speech — and that the
large flag is a proper match for the size of the real-estate mogul's
"A smaller flag and pole on Mar-A-Lago's property would be lost given its
massive ++size, look silly instead of make a statement, and most importantly
would fail to appropriately express the magnitude of Donald J. Trump's and the
Club's members' patriotism," the lawsuit says.
Town officials said Trump violated zoning codes when the lavish club hoisted
a 15-by-25-foot flag atop an 80-foot pole on Oct. 3. The citation was for having
a flagpole taller than 42 feet, for not obtaining a building permit and for not
getting permission from the landmarks board.
A phone call to the mayor and town council's office was not returned.
In the lawsuit, Trump's attorneys accuse the town of selectively enforcing
its ordinances. Other locations in the town display flags that violate statutes,
the lawsuit alleges.
All damages awarded to the club would be donated to veterans of the war in
Iraq, the lawsuit said.
Trump had until Nov. 27 to apply for approvals or else he faced a Dec. 21
hearing that could have resulted in fines of $250 per day. It was unclear on
Dec. 23 whether that meeting took place.
"The day you need a permit to put up the American flag, that will be a sad
day for this country," Trump said in October.