Liberal town tells business to remove ‘excessive’ American flags. Now the business is fighting back.

Liberal town tells business to remove ‘excessive’ American flags. Now the business is fighting back.
A business was cited for "excessive" flags. Now, the business is fighting back. (Image source: WBZ-TV screenshot)

To honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, employees at Laer Reality in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, placed 200 American flags in the grass in the front of their office, which lay adjacent to a busy intersection.

Then the town ordered the flags removed, citing the violation of a town statute for “excessive” flags. Now the business is fighting back.

What happened?

“On Saturday we came out and we lined this with 200 flags in support of our deceased veterans and all the people who have served,” Laer employee Jon Crandall told WBZ-TV.

The business didn’t hear anything negative until Friday, according to Crandall, who said when he showed up to work on Friday there was a note on the door from the city about the flags.

The note explained the business had violated the town’s code for “excessive flags,” and requested the business remove the majority of the flags, so only a “reasonable” amount remained.

According to Michael McCall, Chelmsford’s Assistant Town Manager, the town’s bylaws say flags cannot be used for “commercial promotion.”

“This is a commercial establishment located at a busy intersection. It was in the front lawn of that particular property, and in the opinion of our code enforcement officer, the building commissioner, it was a violation,” he told WBZ.

How did the business respond?

Instead of removing flags, the business added about 300 more. Now, about 500 flags are prominently displaced in front of the business.

“We feel this is a patriotic act. It’s not about our business. It’s about supporting our troops, supporting veterans,” Crandall said. “I think the flags speak for themselves. I don’t think we need to get into a fight with city hall.”

WBZ noted the business is working with the town to determine how many it is allowed to display.

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