Muncie, Ind. Mayor Dan Canan has rescinded his decision to include the American flag in a ban on flags in a city-run campground, according to the Associated Press.
In an open letter to campers at Prairie Creek Campgrounds, Canan said he was reversing his prohibition on all flags.
“I sincerely apologize to you for any inconvenience or stress this issue has caused,” Canan wrote. “Men and women have fought and died for our flag, and my decision was wrong.”
Police officers distributed notices of the city’s complete flag ban Monday (Aug. 23) to those at the campground along Prairie Creek Reservoir, about 10 miles southeast of Muncie. That order from Canan broadened a previous rule that had exempted the U.S. flag and POW/MIA flags.
Canan said Monday he decided to widen the ban to bolster the city’s defense against a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union.
Canan, however, changed his stance after protests from campers and others.
The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court this month on behalf of longtime camper Tommy Wallace, who had displayed a Confederate flag on his trailer for more than a decade. The lawsuit contended that the ban violated his free-speech rights.
The city imposed the original flag restrictions after officials said they received complaints that the campground has become a taxpayer-subsidized, semipermanent trailer park.