Boards and commissions representing the City of Sulphur Springs had no choice but to approve the signage posted to advertise the location of the Potato House located along a downtown street. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Reed vs. The Town of Gilbert, Arizona that such signs are protected by the First Amendment Freedom of Speech. One has to only Google or read SCOTUS blog’s explanation of Reed v Town of Gilbert, Arizona. The court case focused on a non-profit organization’s signage but the court extended their decision to public business as well.
In recent weeks, social media had been used to fuel a public relations campaign that has given the Potato House more exposure than the innocuous wooden sign. The sign consists of a potato in a chef’s toque blanche pointing the way to the entrance of the establishment. Media from outside the city provoked opinions with reports that reflected the message of social media but that indicated they did not go beyond the potato establishment in researching the background of the appeals being made. Although the city mayor was implicated in their report, they never approached the mayor regarding what she understood to have been said regarding applications for signage and other factors related to the original denial of the sign.