The United Veterans Memorial & Patriotic Association is fighting a New York town for the right to fly the Gadsden flag bearing the phrase, "Don't Tread On Me."
The veterans group had flown the flag, used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps since 1775, at the New Rochelle Armory, but the city council claimed it was an offensive Tea Party symbol and voted to have the flag removed.
The Examiner reports that the city council voted 5 to 2 Wednesday to keep the veterans from hoisting the Gadsden flag. Council members said that because Peter Parente, president of the veterans group, is a Tea Party member, he is simply trying to make a political statement.
Parente acknowledged that while he is a "proud Republican," no one in his veterans' group belongs to the Tea Party.
According to the website Talk of the Sound, one council member compared the Gadsden to the gay pride flag while another member likened it to Nazi and, more oddly, Mickey Mouse flags.
The Thomas More Law Center is now representing the veterans group, claiming that if one were to use the city council's logic, even the Stars and Stripes would be removed from flagpoles around the country.
"Using the City Council's reasoning, they would remove the Stars and Stripes from flagpoles because both Democrat and Republican Parties, as well as most political candidates, use the Stars and Stripes in their campaign messaging," said Richard Thompson, president of the center.