LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- To many the American flag is a symbol of freedom, but in Leland, that does not apply to having a huge American flag. A gas station is flying the stars and stripes not in compliance to town codes.
The flag that is flying high in Leland is eight by 11 feet in size. That's the same size of the flag that flies outside the White House in Washington, DC, but it's causing a lot more controversy in our area.
Tom Morris is a veteran, who owns the ice cream shop next to the Stop n Go gas station off US 17. Like many Leland residents he says the over-sized flag is fine the way it is, but a town ordinance says the flag is too big.
"I would like to see them change this ordinance, because it is just a town ordinance," Morris said. "It's something they can sit down and change to let this flag fly high and stand."
Stop n Go manager Naseer Odeh says the gas station got a permit from the county to put the flag up, but now the town of Leland says it's out of code.
The store's owners, most of their customers and residents here say the size of an American flag should not matter.
"I mean let's face it, when we were little guys in school, that's how we started: Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, and that's where it all begins," Morris said. "And we put our hand over our heart, because we have a big heart for the American flag."
The Stop n Go has more than 1,500 signatures on a list supporting the large flag. Odeh says he put the flag up, and that's where it's gonna stay, even if Leland decides to fine or cite the gas station. He says he is waiting until the next town meeting to see where things go.