At the latest meeting by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), several rule changes were proposed as it concerns election laws. Among them was a proposal to redefine North Carolina’s billboard law to include “any sign, flat surface or other display greater 5 than 2,160 square inches,” which would be 3×5 feet — the typical common size of political flags.
The North Carolina GOP shot back at the NCSBE with a letter of disapproval citing unconstitutional limitations on free speech.
Under North Carolina statute NCGS § 163-278.38Z(7), any of this “print media,” which is defined as “billboards, cards, newspapers, newspaper inserts, magazines, mass mailings, pamphlets, fliers, periodicals, and outdoor advertising facilities.” And if an individual or organization spends more than $1,000 on these flags, i.e., to hand out to people at a rally or to display on one’s own property, it constitutes an “advertisement” which would then require a disclosure of “paid for by” printed on the flags.
In other words, if someone inadvertently displays political flags and doesn’t disclose who paid for said flags printed directly on them, they would be guilty, under North Carolina law, of a misdemeanor.
The NC GOP expressed their concern over this, stating that “such a proposal seems to be outside the NCSBE’s statutory authority, unnecessary, and ill-advised.”
But let’s be real, we all know exactly who this law is targeting. How many Biden flags do you recall seeing during the 2020 elections? Not many. Compared to Trump flags, they were exponentially greater in number. The proposed rule change would also affect yard signs and other common political advertising. And with Trump expected to run again in 2020, and North Carolina being a tight swing state which barely went for Trump, it’s no wonder they want to quell support for Donald Trump again in this election.