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Non-Compliant Business Owners 'Flagged' in Fayetteville

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FAYETTEVILLE — Last year,Durham residents fought to keep large flags flying. Now, someFayettevillebusiness owners are fighting to keep multiple flags flying high.

The flag debate is hitting close to city hall. A hotel right across the street is technically in violation of anew ordinance.

Under the new law that went into effect Monday, businesses can only display three flags. More than that, and they face a steep fine.

City Inspector David Steinmetz is flagging businesses who are not in compliance.

"It will be $100 a day until you take it down," said Steinmetz.

Beginning Monday, no checkered, colored or multiple American flags are allowed.

"I think it stinks," said business owner Milton Horne.

Horne did not take his one decorative flag down, and he paid the price.

"I think it's too far. There's nothing wrong with dressing your window to create people to look and say 'here's my merchandise,'" said Horne.

Horne says at $100 a day, he will follow the rules. Many other businesses already have. City Councilman Wick Smith says it may seem petty, but it is a way to clean up Fayetteville's look.

"We need to get this litter on a stick out of the sight of folks so they can enjoy Fayetteville and its beauty more," said Smith.

At first glance, it looks like Purvis Brothers Ford was willing to comply, but that is not the case at all.

"We do think it's a good eye-catcher, not an eyesore," said business owner Bill Childs.

The owners say they have taken down their old flags, but several new ones are going up for Memorial Day.

"If we do get a fine, we plan on appealing it," said Childs.

The $100 a day fines can be appealed to the Board of Adjustment.

Many small business owners are waiting to hear the results of some appeals by the larger companies before deciding if they will hang their flags again.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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