A bigger, brighter sign went up this afternoon, welcoming northbound motorists coming into Bonners Ferry to Trump Country.

The newest salvo in the Trump vs. diversity sign war was fired today as a bigger, brighter "Welcome to Trump Country" replaced the small, weather-worn sign on Highway 95 across from Mirror Lake Golf Course this afternoon.

The new sign even boosts the Badgers!


A smaller, faded sign had greeted north traveling motorists for months if not years, and in June, an actual billboard sign, also facing south, went up near Carter Country in Bonners Ferry proclaiming Boundary County as a place that welcomes diversity.

While it went up with no fanfare and no mention of the old "Trump Country" sign, the day after the "diversity" sign went up it was alleged on a Facebook page that the Trump sign had been vandalized, shot with paintballs.

If there had been such vandalism occurred, it was not visible later that morning.

Under Idaho Code on highway signage, the "Trump Country sign is not a legal sign, even though it is privately owned and on privately-owned property, as off-premise signs of that size are allowed only on commercial properties within incorporated cities.

Erected in the 1990s, the sign originally advertised the Paradise Valley Inn and was on Inn property, making it a legal on-premise business sign. Later, the property sold, the Inn sign came down, leaving bi-directional white faces overlooking the highway.

In time, the property sold and, no longer part of the Paradise Valley Inn, lost its on-premise status. While it does not encroach on highway right of way, the law applies to off-premise signage visible from a state or federal highway.

While the billboard law is on the books, this one may be allowed to stand by the Idaho Transportation Department, the agency responsible for enforcing that particular law, at least for a while, due to its political content and the fact that this is a presidential election year.

Idaho's campaign signage laws, much like politics itself, are much less clear and well defined.


Mike Weland has been a journalist since serving as battalion Hometown News specialist in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 1979. He is publisher, editor and reporter at, which he launched in March, 2018.

(6) comments

Kim Black

We surf on here for local news facts, hopefully written without spin as we can be trusted to form our OWN opinions. To be truthful, humans are either born male or female. Abnormalities occur, but to foist gender ‘choices’ upon all is absolutely absurd. Anyone saying otherwise is likely to follow a deceived flock right over a cliff. Believing the truth leads to freedom.


Mike, are you saying that it's unfortunate that there isn't the outcry against the Trump sign that you hoped there would be? That's it isn't it! I bet that if it was a Biden sign up on that billboard that you wouldn't have a problem with it at all! It's funny how you liberals try to drive a wedge between people. It won't work though. We aren't prone to hate here. After all, as the democrats say, "Boundry County is too great for hate".

If you put some thought into both signs and what they say you'll actually see that they are really quite similar. If you love God, guns, freedom, family, and your neighbor then you are naturally going to respect the fact that we are made different from each other. We will fight for other's human rights and protect the fact that we are created equal by God.

Mike, we don't like what is going on in the rest of the US and how people are being stirred up into a frenzy of hate by a bunch of community agitators and we don't want to be a part of that here.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLKjr

Mike Weland Staff
Mike Weland

While unfortunate, I can think of no better or more apt metaphor to characterize how this story is developing. Mike Weland, Publisher


Please stop propagating a billboard war. There is not a Trump vs diversity sign war.

I am dismayed each time I read dialogue that refers to two of our county billboards as “two sides”, “divisive messages”, “battle of billboards”. Does everything have to be viewed as a conflict and battle? Repeating this narrative only feeds into a false message of division. These are two separate billboards with separate messages, one political and one a human rights statement. It is actually insulting to anyone supporting the political sign to blankly suggest they cannot or do not also support equality and human rights. I hope the community will come together where we agree and respect each other’s right to disagree without pitting people against one another.


What diversity or human rights have been violated in Boundary county, why create a problem when there are none


"The newest salvo in the Trump vs. diversity sign war " - What war? Why does supporting one or the other political party indicate you do or do not support diversity? Stop inciting division.

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