Boston’s Fox25 reported that Laer Realty in Chelmsford, Massachusetts set out 200 American flags for Memorial Day. But soon after, the city’s building enforcement officer gave them a violation for “signage.” They were told they had to remove some of the flags because they were “excessive,” which was also reported by CBS local. But the realty is not going to do that, and the flags will remain up until Flag Day and then the 4th of July.
Realtor Jon Crandall and his daughter put all the flags up in about a half an hour over Memorial Day weekend. The sea of 200 American flags was meant to honor those who sacrificed. It wasn’t a “commercial promotion.” And the building enforcement officer, of all people, should know that. He’s a Marine veteran, according to Town Manager Paul Cohen.
“This isn’t anti-flag, anti-American, in fact the building enforcement officer, he’s a former Marine… The code prohibits the use in commercial promotion and I think the other one is it could be a distraction and safety issue, it’s a pretty busy intersection.” Paul Cohen, who also said some churches had been cited for flags in an interview with Fox 25.
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The Town Manager would be exceedingly hard pressed to find any statistics on a display of the American flag actually causing an traffic accident at a “busy intersection.”
“If you look in our town right now going down the center, every telephone pole has an American flag hanging from it, so it’s not like we don’t embrace it, so I’m not sure what’s going on.” Realtor Robin Sendelbach
So let’s make this clear: the city of Chelmsford is citing churches, and businesses for flying the American flag because they claim it’s a “commercial promotion.” The only promotion is for the United States of America.
The citation reads “You may display a reasonable amount.”
Two hundred seems pretty reasonable. Mr. Crandall was tempted to add more. “Two-hundred certainly doesn’t seem excessive to me. And it looks beautiful and I’d like to add more to it to be honest with you.” Jon Crandall
“For all the people that have sacrificed so much and all the soldiers and the people in the branches of the military that have given their all for us to be here freely, just to me, it’s insulting to take them down.” Jon Crandall
The Marine veteran was just doing his job, of that we are certain. But Chelmsford, Massachusetts needs to adjust their “signage” ordinance to account for Americans who understand what the flag really means. Kudos to Laer Realty for standing strong!
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