A small town in the liberal state of Massachusetts issued a violation of zoning codes to a business that lined up some 200 flags along its property to celebrate America's veterans on Memorial Day.
“On Saturday we came out and we lined this with 200 flags in support of our deceased veterans and all the people who have served,” says Jon Crandall who works at Laer Realty in Chelmsford, according to CBS-Boston.
The realty company planted the flags in front of the office for Memorial Day, but on Friday, “There was a note in the door from the building department stating we had a violation, a flag violation, excessive flags,” he said.
The town said the display violated a bylaw that forbids using flags for “commercial promotion.”
“This is a commercial establishment located at a busy intersection. It was in the front lawn of that particular property, and in the opinion of our code enforcement officer, the building commissioner, it was a violation,” said Michael McCall Chelmsford’s Assistant Town Manager.
The town ordered the real estate company to take down some flags, but would allow the business to leave up “a reasonable amount,” whatever that means.
“We feel this is a patriotic act. It’s not about our business. It’s about supporting our troops, supporting veterans,” Crandall says.
So Friday, they actually added flags to the display. There are about 500 now. “I think the flags speak for themselves. I don’t think we need to get into a fight with city hall,” says Crandall.
The town hopes the realty company will get in touch so they can discuss the number of flags. This is not the first time the realtors have displayed the flags, but it’s the first time they’ve had a problem. They usually leave them up until the 4th of July.
Let's hope by the Fourth there are thousands there!