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Iron Front flag ban formally removed from MLS fan code of conduct

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New language allows for signs that aren’t overtly political or violent.

SOCCER: AUG 23 MLS - Seattle Sounders FC at Portland Timbers

It came a bit later than most many supporters had hoped, but MLS released its revised fan code of conduct on Tuesday with some notable changes that reflect negotiations between the league and supporters groups. Gone is language that banned “political” signage and explicit call-outs for displays like the Iron Front flag.

This is how the new code of conduct reads:

  • Displaying signs, symbols, images, using language or making gestures that are threatening, abusive, or discriminatory, including on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, ability, and / or sexual orientation.
  • Displaying signs, symbols, or images for commercial purposes or for electioneering, campaigning or advocating for or against any candidate, political party, legislative issue, or government action.

A source who worked on the new language confirmed to Sounder at Heart that the Iron Front flag will be treated the same as it was toward the end of last season when teams like the Sounders permitted it to fly in the supporters section.

This should end a fight that cast a shadow over a good deal of last season when fans staged in-stadium protests at several stadiums and at least one counter-protest that resulted in a Sounders fan being assaulted. Also among the incidents were a 33-minute silent protest staged by Sounders fans and Timbers Army on Aug. 23, 2019 and an ECS walkout at halftime of a match on Sept. 16, 2019.