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File #: 19-0021    Version: 1 Name: AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTIONS 1:240D, 1:240E AND 1:240F OF CHAPTER 9 (City Seal and Flag) OF TITLE I OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF ANN ARBOR
Type: Ordinance Status: Second Reading
File created: 1/7/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/22/2019 Final action:
Enactment date: 1/7/2019 Enactment #: ORD-19-02
Title: An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1:240D, 1:240E and 1:240F of Chapter 9 (City Seal and Flag) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-02)
Sponsors: Christopher Taylor
Attachments: 1. 19-02 Flag and Seal Ordinance Amendment Briefed.pdf, 2. Flag and Seal Ordinance Amendment

Title

An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1:240D, 1:240E and 1:240F of Chapter 9 (City Seal and Flag) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-02)

Memorandum

The City’s flag and seal are symbols of, and have value to, the City. Persons unaffiliated with the City have, in the past, sold items bearing the City seal for their own profit.  Further, vendors and potential vendors to the City, and other third-parties, use these symbols for things like proposals or bids to the City, usually without any City permission.   

 

Federal trademark law does not entitle the City to protect these important symbols.  Accordingly, last July, the City Council adopted an ordinance, No. 18-17, protecting the City’s flag and seal.

 

Since that ordinance’s adoption, concerns have been raised by the ACLU and others that the ordinance’s prohibitions are overly broad-i.e., they inappropriately restrict more than is necessary to accomplish the City’s goals-and that its provisions allowing the Mayor to permit certain prohibited uses is inappropriate.

 

These amendments address those concerns by: (1) narrowing the prohibitions to uses for obtaining something of value by suggesting City support, and (2) striking the permitting provisions.  The amendments also expressly permit the City to obtain an injunction to bar unlawful use of the flag and/or seal.

Staff

Prepared by: Matthew R. Rechtien, Senior Assistant City Attorney

Body

(See Attached Ordinance)

 

Sponsored by:  Mayor Taylor