City to dealership: Take military flags down
POSTED: 05:23 PM MST Dec 18, 2013 UPDATED: 05:38 PM MST Dec 18, 2013
The City of Idaho Falls told an auto sales company to take down its flags honoring the military.
"We're just here supporting the troops," said Autos 4 Less owner Jonathon Long. "We're even doing a Christmas donation box for veterans."
Long was told to take these flags down after the city apparently received complaints.
"With that notice, I pulled the flags down, and after thinking about it overnight, I became more and more upset and decided to do something about it," Long said Wednesday.
Long contacted the code enforcement officer and was told the flags are considered portable signs and do not follow the city's sign code regulations.
Long was told he could face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if Autos 4 Less continued to fly the flags.
"I'm just really upset we can't support our military," Long said.
One of Long's employees is especially upset.
"It really hits home for me," said Transportation Specialist David Claiborne. "I'm a veteran. I was in the Navy. I have a son that actually went to Afghanistan in the Province of Helmand and fought for this country literally, and we love to support our troops."
The city says it's not the content of the signs, but simply the rules. So for now, Autos 4 Less will have to cooperate.
"We do support our troops, and hopefully we'll be able to put our flags back up," said Claiborne.
A code enforcement officer also said the business doesn't have a permit for even one portable sign.