A church in California has reportedly been ordered to remove a “support our troops” sign or face a possible fine from the local government.

Simple Truth Church in Nevada County, Calif., was reportedly given the ultimatum after posting the billboard without filling out the necessary paperwork first.

The trouble started about three weeks ago when the church put up the sign in an effort to cover an old beat-up billboard, Sacramento’s KMAX-TV reported.

In addition to the “support our troops” language, the billboard features the church’s name, a link to its website and an image of the American flag.

While church members said the sign was merely meant to improve the community, some apparently complained about its presence, which led the county to take action. But the government’s grievance with the sign apparently had nothing to do with its contents.

“It actually didn’t have anything to do with what the signs says, what it has to do with is its out of compliance with county ordinance on signage,” said Pastor Jeff Alaways who serves at Simple Truth Church.

At the center of the debate is the fact that Simple Truth Church never obtained a permit to put the sign up in the first place. Now, if church officials don’t remove it, member Bill Stokes says the local government might come and tear it down.

“If we don’t do anything, they may come out and cut the sign down. And, we would have to pay for them to cut the sign down, which seems to be pretty harsh,” he told KMAX.

The church is set to meet with county officials this week to discuss the sign’s future.

It’s unclear how the county will handle the situation moving forward, but in an interview with KTXL-TV, County Planning Department Director Brian Foss said, “We look forward to meeting with the church and getting everything legalized.”

(H/T: Huffington Post)

Featured image via WPMT-TV

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