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Supporters rally for gas station's flag


LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- About 150 people gathered for a Save the Flag rally at the Buy 'n Go gas station on Highway 17 in Leland Saturday. The Leland town council ordered the flag taken down because it's too big under town ordinance. It also is too big for the flag pole according to federal code. However, there are some who believe that flag had every right to fly high and proud.

Conservative talk radio host Curtis Wright spoke at the rally and said he was impressed with the turnout.

"It was unbelievable that in such a short period of time so many people came," Wright said. "And so many people came from far away like Raleigh, South Carolina and Fayetteville. People just came whenever the call came out over e-mail to various groups, and it was just amazing the amount of people for such short notice."

People at the rally like Kevin Delahunty were fired up and proud to support the flag and the manager of the gas station that wants to fly it.

"This gentleman immigrated to this country and became an American citizen and lived the American dream. He became successful, and all he wanted to do was fly the flag of this country," Delahunty said.

In a show of support for the store, supporters of the larger flag presented the store with a temporary flag that is allowed to be flown under the town's ordinance. The crowd cheered and chanted "USA" as the flag was hoisted up the pole.

Supporters are grateful that people came out on this Labor Day weekend and say they could have been anywhere in the world doing anything they wanted but they chose to put their life on pause to come out and support this cause.

With Election Day creeping up folks at the rally say they wouldn't be surprised if the town council's decision on the flag played a role when the votes are cast on November 2.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


American Flag

It is sad that some will say they stand for the flag and what it represents, but back down over local ordinances. In some communities, flags cannot be flown at all on poles, and even the flag holder has to be approved. Where will the restrictions to our flag end? The local Leland officials showed no compassion or respect for the flag in this instance. There are flags this size flying all over the nation. The voting records of the Leland officials need to be reviewed, so that all will know where they stood on this issue. If you don't care, that is your choice, but others do.

Was this business prohibited

Was this business prohibited from flying a flag? Are the protestors saying he was not allowed to fly a flag at all or that he wasn't allowed to fly the biggest flag he wanted to fly?

If the controversy was that he couldn't fly the biggest flag he wanted, then why not focus on changing the law to allow flying the bigger flag? If the officials were just enforcing current law, then whether or not they agreed with the law is not the issue.

Just for the sake of argument, does a bigger flag mean someone cares more about this Country?

The saga of the uneducated continues...

I have to wonder (and hope) that everyone attending that rally held by a devout racist was not informed of the true nature of these circumstances surrounding this particular flag:
1) Flag violated Town of Leland ordinance, and was also BIGGER than the Flag flown in DC over the Capitol Building.
2) The Flag would have hit trees in the area if flown at half-staff (which is consider to be disrespectful to the American Flag while being flown)
3) The Flag should never be used for purposes other than for its intended purpose. It is illegal and considered an insult if businesses use the size of a Flag or the Flag itself for a purpose to support its own business... and not solely as a representation of the USA
4) I've got one son in Iraq and a nephew that has returned... and consider myself to be extremely patriotic, but all items aside, it's not anti-USA for Town of Leland to restrict the size of the Flag in this case. It's respect for our country and the ordinances of Leland in which they are abiding.
I cannot believe this many uneducated people are too closed minded in this instance to scream "freedom" and "GO USA" without even understanding the situation around this circumstance. It does not say much for the uneducated people who attended the rally.

I assume when you speak of

I assume when you speak of "the uneducated", you are standing in front of a mirror. This is a matter of principle, not schooling. If the flag is not a danger to anyone, or in any way restricts how an adjacent property owner can use and enjoy his property, the business should be able to fly any size American flag that it wants to. I assume that you are one those who look toward elected officials on all levels of government for guidance and to dictate how you must live your life. Apparently there are a few left that desire to make their own decisions and feel it necessary to stand up for others like the store owner who feel likewise. This is what America is all about. Perhaps you would feel more at home in Communist China.

Actually Marine...Matt was

Actually Marine...Matt was correct in his points, perhaps not in his name calling. There has never been a question of whether the business owner could fly the flag...but whether he should allowed to fly it properly with the RESPECT it's due. Flying a bigger flag, doesn't mean you are more patriotic and less Communist (as you noted). If the flag cannot be flown with the respect that we (yes, Marine, I served as well, for 20 years, but did not feel the need to validate my service with my screen name) believe the flag is due, then what purpose does the large flag serve? Should it not be flown at half mast to give respect to our war dead on Memorial Day? You see, with the current flagpole, that was impossible. So before all the "patriots" jump on the "my flags bigger than your flag" bandwagon-let's remember that the flag IS more than just a symbol. Legally, the flag has rights and those rights were not being observed. Kudos to the Leland Town Council for taking the courageous, but not necessarily popular stance and protecting our flag!

saga continues:

its just like everywhere,, all are governed by a few,, give a bum a little power and they think they are God's answer to all problems,, like the old saying: "don't do like we do; do as we say" or we will smite you.. I am just saying, is all have a great day,,,

They didn't say you can't

They didn't say you can't fly the flag, just not a jumbo flag. Fly a normal one.

the size of the flag across

the size of the flag across the street is if any very little difference if any, but no one is saying a thing about it. the size of the flag of the United States of America should not be regulated by some peddy little city, just b/c they are to cheap to fly a bigger flag!

Leland flag rally

I wish I'd known about the event; I would have been there also! When are politicians going to get it? The electorate are seeing their country and flag under assault from within as well as from outside forces. We're tired of it folks and people who have never been politically active are jumping into the fray. One thing council members need to know....we vote! I intend to find out who they are and how they voted. If you, council member, voted this flag out...I'll help vote you out!

wow! You would base your

wow! You would base your votes on something so petty as this. You people should worry about real issues and not this nonsense.

that's the point. the

that's the point. the council people are worried about this "nonsense", when they should be focused on more important issues.


I am very proud to this man and his family coming to this country and becoming a responsible American. I am very proud that he is flying the American flag. I am sorry to say I don't support his vallient effort. The flag is too big for the pole. He cannot fly it a half mast. According to flag etiquette, the flag must be able to be flown at half staff and not touch the ground. (Section 8b.) "The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground." A flag pole of this size 40', requires a flag 6'x10.
It's exciting to see so many people out to support this fella but how about chipping in and just buy him the right size flag?
Being a good citizen also requires following the laws

Apparently you are the one who believes everything they read!

Dear stupid person,
You are apparently ill informed. This flag can be flown at half staff and still have four feet before touching anything. The inspector of these allegations is used to getting her way because??????????? You on the other hand have only followed this issue by reading and listening to the media. Well did you know that the manager took two (2) cameras full of pictures of the flag at half staff and to everyone's surprize it didn't touch a thing. Oh well here goes another American value down the drain! It is the right size for the right reason!

People of Leland vs. The Establishment

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