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Yellow ribbons removed from Litchfield town green amid speech dispute

Officials say allowing the ribbons opens the door to any displays of free speech, no matter how offensive.
Credit: AP
Yellow ribbons honoring U.S. military members are wrapped around trees on the Litchfield Town Green in Litchfield, Conn., shortly before being removed on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. Local officials' decision to take down ribbons, due to concerns other groups could put up their own displays, no matter how offensive, has angered some local residents. (AP Photo/Dave Collins)

LITCHFIELD, Conn. — A symbol of support for U.S. troops is now the centerpiece of a contentious free-speech debate in the small Connecticut town of Litchfield.

Yellow ribbons had adorned trees on the Litchfield Town Green since the 2003 start of the war in Iraq.

But the five remaining ribbons were taken down Thursday by a local official enforcing an ordinance banning placards and other postings on the green.

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Officials say allowing the ribbons opens the door to any displays of free speech, no matter how offensive.

Local resident Val Caron has been maintaining the ribbons for more than a decade and says he's considering legal action to get the ribbons put back up.

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