A pair of restaurant owners in Georgia got an unexpected bit of news when they learned recently that they had to remove the assortment of flags they had flying from the roof of their popular establishment. Every restaurant owner is used to dealing with different laws and codes, but I doubt having to argue for their rights as proud patriots is something these poor guys thought they'd ever have to do.
The flags that co-owners Darren Miller and Dean Patterson flew over their hot-dog eatery included the U.S. flag, the flag for the state of Georgia, and every single branch of the military. The men were shocked to hear that they were in violation of a city ordinance and had to remove their flags. Their entire restaurant is dedicated to the armed forces, to the police, and to firemen. In fact, Miller's father is a veteran and Miller himself is a former fireman.
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As soon as news of this story broke, those responsible for the ordinance being issued started furiously back-pedaling. First, the fine that had originally come with the citation was mysteriously "waived" without explanation. Then, as the duo began speaking to more press, city officials offered to re-evaluate the section of the city's law that had caused the uproar to begin with. Talk about a 180-degree change.
It's all well and good that the city is now trying to make some sort of restitution, but it isn't good enough. In fact, it's worse than keeping their mouths shut altogether -- at least then they'd be sticking to their guns. What the city really owes these men is an apology. It's clear the city knows it made a massive error by insisting the men take down their flags. They should publicly say as much and stop side-stepping their actions -- it just makes them look sloppy and foolish.
Do you think the city was right to ask them to take their flags down?
Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr