Controversial anti-Biden flag in Kokomo will stay in place

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — I-Team 8 has learned a Kokomo man can keep his anti-Joe Biden flag flying on the side of his house. The deal between Brandon Adams and the city ends a controversial case I-Team 8 first covered in October

The flag has one word on it some may find offensive. After I-Team 8’s first story aired, Adams found out others in Kokomo with the same flag had taken theirs down. But he dug in his heals for a fight against the city and won. 

“All I wanted was an acknowledgment that you tried to violate my rights, acknowledge that you can’t try and violate anyone else’s rights, because this is protected political free speech,” Adams said. 

Allowing Adams to fly that flag will cost the city of Kokomo a couple thousand dollars, as the city is paying all of Adams’ legal fees. Both parties came to an agreement that says the city lacks the power to punish Adams or any other person for the content of the message on the flag, so long as there is no showing of an intent to incite disobedience or disruption, which was never Adams’ intention. 

“I’m a big fan of my freedoms, and I felt they were being trampled on. The only way [I] can fight ‘the man’ per se, is by hanging a flag letting people know [I am] protesting,” Adams said. 

When Adams bought the flag, it stayed inside for about a month. He found a place for the flag on the side of his house after a series of events, such as the vaccine mandates, and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. 

“When I saw (I-Team-8’s) story saying four other people had taken theirs down, I said, ‘Well, that means four other people didn’t know their rights or didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer and fight back,’ so I wasn’t going to back down at that point,” Adams said.

The flag caught the attention of neighbors who complained to the city, claiming the language on the flag was offensive and in clear sight of younger children. Adams says there is a bigger message behind the flag. 

“You got something to say and it’s your opinion, I don’t care what it is, say it. That’s what this country was founded on: people getting together, throwing their different ideas, arguing about them, coming to an understanding,” Adams said.  

After I-Team 8’s original story, a group of people from across the state gathered at Adams’ house for a rally. He has no intention of taking the flag down any time soon, and hopes those who removed their flags will bring them back out.  

Adams told I-Team 8 he hopes his victory will encourage others regardless of political party to engage in and protect political speech, and to take a stand for what they believe in.