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City Tells Store Owners: Take Down Flags or Face Fine

Posted May 30, 2007
Updated May 31, 2007

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— To show his patriotism, Raleigh store manager David Brown flies the American flag, but the city said he and a neighboring business both have too many flags and that there’s a limit on how many you can display.

“This store was opened in 1999, and those flags have been up there since 1999,” Brown said.

Raleigh code allows for three flags to fly. The Fiddle Stix that Brown manages has seven, so the city said four flags must wave goodbye.

Just south on Capital Boulevard, Martin Auto Haus flies 10 flags and has been told to temper its display.

“We've had our flags up since we opened this business and haven't thought about taking them down,” said business owner Kevin Powell.

He said the flags are his tribute to those serving overseas.

“The people that are serving our country, they have to see that we're supporting them,” Powell said. “Until they come back home, we're going to keep our flags up.”

City officials said the choice in a three-flag maximum or a $500 fine.

“If the city tells us to take them down, come Sunday, we'll take them down,” Brown said. “I just want to make sure all the veterans in North Carolina and the city of Raleigh know what the city is trying to do with our flags.”

The stores have until Sunday to take down the flags. Store owners said they were told the orders they received were part of an effort to clean up Capital Boulevard.


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  • Just One Opinion Jun 1, 2007

    FOX News has picked up the flag story and posted it on its web site.

  • htinsle Jun 1, 2007

    I am utterly amazed and astounded. First, it is disgusting that any level of American government should aim to limit the number of American flags flying on a person's property. Secondly, I am completely ashamed at the responses/comments that suggest the government has such a right. Worse yet, some criticize the motivation of the business owner who flies the flags.

    This is an outrage and Anti-American tyranny. Clean-up the blvd.? Think about that. How do you plan to clean it up, Mr. Government man? Get rid of all those "trashy" American flags? (I can already hear other posters saying, "Yes!") Hello, is anybody home? Our national flag. Does anybody care anymore? What about cemeteries? Can they only fly a flag for 3 of the honored dead?

    Anybody, government or otherwise, who demands the removal of a properly displayed American flag whose placement does not cause a hazard (e.g. blocking a driver's view at an intersection.)is no American.

  • Kane Jun 1, 2007

    Give me a break. I know this guy who runs the car lot. All of those flags are just a gimmick to lure innocent victims there to buy used cars that are just junk. He lies about all this new stuff he put on the car and once you buy it, it breaks down in couple of days and he ignores you even when you have a warranty. This guy is a fraud. Yeah, that's real PATRIOTIC.

  • Nana Jun 1, 2007

    Please, the City of Raleigh needs to rethink this. This man is hurting NO ONE. He is paying tribute in his own way to our troops....gee, now, lets not allow that.....we might act like we are being to American. If I had the money I would pay this mans fines just to keep them there. Raleigh has reached a new low in my opinion. A person cannot fly more than 3 flags, but lets allow ever indescent low life business to move on into town.

  • watchdog Jun 1, 2007

    "I would much rather they hand out citations for all the torn and tattered flags that businesses either neglect or refuse to replace. That is much more offensive."

    C'mon now, we all know that would make too much sense. Instead, lets fine those with more than 3 NEW flags.

  • richardwest74 May 31, 2007

    If this is suppose to be the land of the free and home of the brave then where is the support for the flags.It is to be flown high and with pride and it does not matter if you have one flag flying high or twenty flying high this is our country the troops are fighting for our freedom and some people want to take it away like the praying in our schools and wanting to take the phase one nation under god out of the pledge in the schools and wanting to take in god we trust off the money that is all disrespect to god and our country.I SAY LET THE FLAGS FLY HIGH AND PROUD

  • mommymatters May 31, 2007

    I would much rather they hand out citations for all the torn and tattered flags that businesses either neglect or refuse to replace. That is much more offensive.

  • applesmith May 31, 2007

    LET THE FLAGS FLY. Just goes to show how politics and goverment work hand in hand. Im sure those store owners pay taxes. Im sure the local goverment spends the money. LET THE FLAG FLY.

  • dmb97 May 31, 2007

    thanks Billy

  • billy May 31, 2007

    Strange ---- With all the stuff going on that needs fixing and the city has time, money, and manpower to spend on this.
    Let the Flags fly. It appears that the people flying them are not flying them for profit but out of patriotism. Who are we to try to read their minds.
    Just seems very strange to me.