The Flag in question is in no violation of any rules of Flag etiquette because it can be lowered without interference. However, for flags that can't be lowered, the American Legion says that attaching a black ribbon or streamer to the top of the flag is an acceptable alternative. The ribbon should be the same width as a stripe on the flag and the same length as the flag.
The gas station originally received approval from the Town of Leland for the Flag nearly three years ago, but then the Town decided to change the size ordinance of Flags and signs. Instead of granting a "Grandfather Clause" as they should have done, (which they did for the Hardees and McDonald's signs), they informed the gas station that it should remove the Flag because it exceeded the new ordinance.
Next, the Town said the Flag was considered an "advertisement". If you want to see the Flag used as an advertisement visit the Chevy dealership in Wilmington to see the Flag used this way.
Once the advertisement argument fell apart, the Town of Leland then said the Flag should come down because it could not be flown at half-staff. Again, this argument fell apart when the gas station manager demonstrated that it could be flown at half staff, and photographed the demonstration. (Even if it could not be flown at half-staff, the preceding American Legion exception could be used in its place.)
Somehow it is ok for Hardees and McDonald's to utilize signs in excess of 100 feet tall on Village Road, but not ok for a privately owned business to fly an American Flag on its own property (a Flag originally approved by the Town). Somehow these types of things happen everyday and surprisingly they occur with little resistance, but not here, not now.
The true motive behind the Town's actions is that HWY17 is the focal point of the "new Leland". It's a stretch of universal conformity, dictated by rules, codes and ordinances that would never stand on a road such as Village Road (or any other in everyday America). No, Leland is doing what in political terms is called "putting lipstick on the pig" (The "pig" being the "old Leland"). The Town has a fight on its hands and to get involved email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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