WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A Florida homeowner has run afoul of local county code enforcement officials because of his massive political banners.
Marvin Peavy, of Seagrove Beach, has hung two, almost three-story-tall Trump banners on his house, stating “Trump Won” and “Let’s Go Brandon.”
One banner asserts the falsehood that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, a conspiracy theory put forward by hardline and far-right supporters. The other banner is a coded expletive aimed at President Joe Biden.
Walton County Code Enforcement is now fining him for each day he displays the banners, which he said violates his right to free speech.
“I’m here on the beach, and I got a lot of traffic, and people needed to see what I believe in,” Peavy said. “That’s free speech, and I wanted everyone to know that I’m a Republican and I’m supporting Donald Trump.”
Peavy lives in the South Walton community on exclusive State Road 30A, which spans 20 miles of Florida Panhandle coastline. During a code enforcement hearing last month, a compliance magistrate said the “Trump Won” banner violated the county’s land development code along 30A.
Peavy is being fined $50 a day for every day the banner flies.
Many came out to Peavy’s house Sunday afternoon to show their support for him.
“I had attended the code enforcement meeting when this was brought up, and I was quite shocked when they said they were going to fine him $50 a day for a banner that’s on his private property,” supporter Tabitha Howard said.
Peavy first flew a large-scale Trump 2020 banner on his home last year, but took it down after the inauguration of President Biden. Walton County never took any action against Peavy for that banner because it was up during an active election cycle, which is allowable under local code.
The “Trump Won” banner went up in May this year, and Peavy has now doubled down, hanging a “Let’s Go Brandon” banner on Saturday.
“People admire people that stand up, and we have got to start standing up,” Bill Fletcher, the chairman of the Walton County Republican Executive Committee said. “He is the epitome of somebody who will stand up for his First Amendment right.”
Walton County Code Compliance official Michael Lynch said the land-use code preserves the visual structure of the peaceful beach vacation community, and that the banner’s content is irrelevant.
However, Peavy said he has no plans to remove the banners. He claimed that people all over the country have offered to pay the fines, including a Louisiana woman who has offered to pay for the next two years.
If the code compliance magistrate finds Peavy in violation again at the hearing on Nov. 17, his fines will be due and will continue to accrue each day the banners remain.