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Leland Town Council: Your flag is too big, take it down

READ MORE: Leland gas station causes flag flap

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.

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Critical thinking

Well Mr. or Ms. Seriously, Why does the town’s ordinance say the following:
National flags, state or municipal flags or the official flag of any institution or business shall not be considered as banners. If the purpose stated in the ordinance is to encourage the effective use of signs as a means of communication in the town, while preserving the rights of free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution then what is wrong with using the flag to draw attention to his business? Of course I question this argument about the business using the Flag as a sign anyway. It doesn’t have any labels on it or say come here, and who are you to question someone else’s intentions. As far as labeling, look at yourself. Who are you to say that someone hasn’t used sound thought processes and basing their ideas on Hannity and Glenn Beck just because you don’t see things the same way? Aren’t you generalizing and assuming that everyone who sees things in a political manner that doesn’t happen to suite you must only listen to Hannity and Beck. How come you think you are the only one that has critical thinking? Anyone who has a vested interest and can form their own opinion has utilized critical thinking and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

As far as reading the town’s ordinance you need to read it. You state:

There is no ordinance regulating the size of the American Flag in Leland. There is however, an ordinance stating that a flag larger than 60 square feet is considered a banner sign. You are wrong. Read the ordinance again.

For flags flown in accordance with protocol established by the Congress of the United States for the Stars and Stripes there is no regulation of the size of the flag, however the size of the pole is limited to 40 feet. Any flag not meeting these conditions shall be considered a banner sign and shall be subject to regulation as such. The maximum size of such flags is 60 square feet. This means if the flag is not flown according to the protocol established by Congress and is on a pole larger than 40 feet it is then considered a banner and the flag can only be 60 feet, not larger than 60 feet. What critical thinking went into establishing this size? Why 60? Why not 25, Why not 100?

As far as understanding on the subject matter I think everyone is aware that ideology is related to thoughts that shape our concepts. Land use ordinances should be clear and focus on impact. You also have to take into consideration when the town’s ordinances were written. What were the officials trying to say at the time? Were they simply coping from some other place? Did they really consider the citizens and their desires? Remember, what works today may not work tomorrow. Life circumstances are ever changing and the town’s ordinances should reflect this. The bottom line is still the same. Whether you think it is silly or not, the Flag is one issue that emits emotion and that certainly should be considered. Ultimately some sense of equity must be established between desire, safety and protocol.


this is exactly what is wrong with our country. its a flag. get over it. i could understand if it was 3000ft tall and the only thing you could see for miles. maybe then the town could complain. but its an AMERICAN FLAG. let it fly. shut the hell up. i live in leland and drive past that gas station everyday. never noticed that it is was "so" big and causing problems. so obviously it shouldnt be and issue.

does size matter?

Is patriotism measured by Flag size? is a 8'x11' flag over a gas station more patriotic or more deserving of honor than the 6" x 9" flags that dot the graves in a military cemetery?

I did my tour in the service and am proud of it. But I don't need to need to rub everyone else's nose in it.Our communities make laws that benefit the community as a whole, that is sometimes at a cost to us the individual.

Having a flag up is not

Having a flag up is not rubbing anyone's nose into about your freaking service. It is saying I am proud to be an American it does not say this is only up to support veterans. There are many others out here you love our country and the flag but what we don't love are stupid rules.

Size DOES matter

...but it shouldn't to Leland. They can drop dead.

I have a question, however. How tall is that pole? It's hard to tell from the picture or video, but it may be too short for that large a flag. For that size flag, the recommended pole height is fifty feet. (A prime example of how NOT to do it can be seen on North College Road, where a very large flag flies from a pole that is far too short for it. That flag cannot possibly fly at half-staff when appropriate.)

Second question - does the flag come down at sunset, or is it illuminated at night?

Third question - does the flag come down in inclement weather, or is it an all-weather flag?

Here's my point: I encourage EVERY American to fly the national ensign (and these folks to take this to court, if Leland won't budge) but make sure you're doing it right.


This is precisely why we need to dump all incumbents and elect citizen representatives locally, statewide and nationwide. Incumbents have morphed into robots programmed only to seek reelection. Politicians should be shot!

Keep the flag up!! This is

Keep the flag up!! This is an American flag, I could see it if it was a flag for the business. I can't believe this is even an issue. Town mangers were watching you on this! I love coming into this part of Leland and seeing that beauty fly. God bless America

As a Marine vet, I say let

As a Marine vet, I say let the flag alone. These morons and their dumb laws seem to forget the freedom they enjoy so that they can harass citizens. Maybe Leland's leaders should relocate to Afganistan.

Let old Glory Fly!!!

Cannot believe Leland is pulling this one!! The pole is too tall??? the flag is too big???
As a Vet, I am soooo angry! The town needs to thing about replacing people like the rocket scientist who is pushing this "law". How about the height of the Hardee's, McDonald and Waffle House signs to name a few...I don't hear you mentioning them being out of code!!! Are you sure you are not part of a "Sleeper Cell!"

I don't see what the big

I don't see what the big deal is, i mean come on. Size on the flag should not matter, we are American and we have the right to support our country no matter what size flag we choose to fly!!