Days after a Iraq War veteran Gregory Schaffer returned home to his Hypoluxo, Florida home and hoisted an American Flag in his front yard, the Marine received a citation from the Town of Hypoluxo listing the flag as a code violation.
"It's sad. It's sad that we have to go through that just to fly a flag," Schaffer told WPTV.
The 24-year-old veteran said after serving his country, it was imperative to fly the flag in his yard and have others see it as a symbol of pride. Nonetheless, an anonymous neighbor filed a complaint with the town, according to the report.
"It's disgusting that anybody should have to go through that. I fought for the flag, now I'm paying for the flag," said Schaffer.
Hypoluxo spokesman Tim Large said the issue is not the flag, but rather that Schaffer needs a permit for the actual flagpole, which is considered a structure.
"Well he can fly his flag the issue is that he has to get a building permit," Large said.
"I would love to see the guy be able to do this. To me it's not personal, it's strictly my job," he added.
Schaffer told WPTV that because he is renting the house, he would have to pay a third party contractor nearly $1,000 to apply for the permit.
Despite these obstacles, Schaffer said he fought to defend even the anonymous neighbor's right to complain, and as such, harbors no animosity towards him or her.
"I respect their right to be able to file a complaint and handle things the way they did. Do I respect what they did? No. I respect their ability to do so," he said.
On his radio show Friday, Glenn Beck shared his own thoughts on flag-flying stories, noting that while he loves the idea of flying American flags, homeowners have a responsibility to understand the laws in their area and follow them. He admitted that he does not fly a flag at his Texas home because his homeowners' association doesn't allow flag poles.
The Town of Hypoluxo, meanwhile, said it will try to work with the Iraq War veteran to ensure he is permitted to fly the American flag.