Brent Greer has been making headlines of late over painting his Bradenton, Florida, house like an American flag in response to city code violations and threats of big fines, which started with a complaint about a Christmas tree left up too long in front of his property earlier this year.
Brent Greer outside his newly red, white, and blue house. (Image source: WFLA-TV)
But on Friday, the foster parent of seven revealed a moment when his anger got the better of him over the situation.
"I got a little rude," Greer told local radio hosts Henry Raines and Augi Schmitz of "The Morning Edge" on WWPR-AM.
He said that when a code enforcement official refused to point out to Greer in detail what about his house — which he grew up in and is more than a century old — didn't comply with city codes, Greer called the man a "brownshirt."
After one of the hosts asked Greer to clarify if he, in fact, called the official a "Nazi," Greer admitted, "Oh, I probably did."
"I didn't think he understood 'brownshirt' so I wanted to clarify," Greer added, noting that he realizes what he said was "wrong."
Greer's comments on the latter exchange begin after the 44:20 mark:
It isn't clear if the code enforcement official in question is Bradenton's Code Compliance Manager Volker Reiss, who previously told WFLA-TV in Tampa of "some substandard housing conditions" at Greer's residence. Reiss did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze.
Greer noted during the interview that after the Christmas tree complaint was taken care of, the city official who came to check out the house said "not so fast," Greer recalled, adding that the official noticed "110 years of maintenance problems" and concluded, "I’m not done here."
With that, the code violation ordeal began, which threatens Greer and his wife with fines that could total $250 per day — over issues such as the condition of windows and wiring and toys in the yard — pending a June 17 public hearing.
"You just threatened my kids, you just threatened my livelihood," Greer told WFLA. "I can’t pay a $250 a day fine. I can’t pay a $25 a day fine!”
"I knew this was all a scam," Greer told WWPR-AM during Friday's interview, adding that he went to all of his neighbors to discuss the situation, to which he said they replied, "Are you kidding me?" Greer theorized on-air that a realtor may have been behind the complaints, which he believes are geared to force him to alter his house or get out completely for the sake of property values.
So Greer fought back against the city's apparent complaint about the house's old paint by revamping the colors to striking red, white, and blue hues.
“A lot of people gave their lives so that we can live here," he told WFLA. "Not so you can have some elitist opinion on how my house should look," adding that he wanted to "remind the city and all that live here that this is America. This is a free country. This is my home."
On the radio program, Greer said it's "insane" that some people believe he's desecrating the flag with the paint job, noting that "99 percent" of the supportive comments he's received have come from veterans.
"You tell them I'm desecrating the flag," Greer emphasized.
While Reiss told WFLA the new paint job "looks nice," other code violations remain.
Regardless Greer said he has no intentions of paying fines and will fight for the things that are most important to him.
"I got seven adopted kids, we're foster parents," he told WFLA. "Kids coming in and out of my house, they're my priority. My house is safe. It's state-certified safe. The things you want done, they’re down so far on my list of priorities. My kids are first and foremost, and if something happens in life, that gets taken care of long before I ever get to my soffits aren’t painted to your liking.”
And Greer said the patriotic painting themes aren't over — next up is the Liberty Bell on the second floor.