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DBAP Sports Oversized Flag Despite Ordinance

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DURHAM — The Bulls displayed a huge flag on opening day back in April. However, in Durham these days, because of recent debate over the city's flag ordinance, getting out the large flag could come with a warning notice. But, what could be more American than baseball and the flag on the fourth?

The Durham Bulls say they don't know how many square feet it is. But, covering nearly two stories of the new Diamond View building, the display of patriotism is much larger than the 60 square feet allowed by Durham's Flag ordinance.

A local restaurant, the VFW, and the American Legion are fighting the city over its flag restrictions. The Bulls don't want any part of that fight. They say they're just trying to create a good atmosphere for baseball fans.

"We bought this big flag to use for opening days and for special occasions like Independence Day," says General Manager Peter Anlyan, "and it's something we do inside the ballpark. A lot of clubs put up bunting and flags. That's all we're doing. We're not trying to hop on anybody's bandwagon."

The Bulls say they're exempt from the city's sign and flag ordinances inside the ballpark. But, city planning director Paul Norby says because the flag is on the new Diamond View Building, instead of directly inside the ballpark, he's sending an inspector to take a look.

Durham veterans, veterans who openly defied the city flag ordinance and who plan to sue the city, are proud of the all American display.

"(It's) something beautiful, more panoramic than anything I've ever seen before, and we need to fly more of them," said one member of the VFW. Another member agreed: "It's a very good symbol. I love it."

The veterans received a warning notice for their flag last week. They'll fly their illegal flag again tomorrow. But, that's not the Bull's approach. They say their display is just a show of patriotism, and their flag may not be out again this season.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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