Business Owner Harassed Over American Flag
March 14, 2012 by Sam Rolley
In another of the ever-increasing incidences of regulation run amok throughout the Nation, a Georgia business owner is being harassed by officials in his hometown for proudly flying an American flag on his own property.
According to the Albany Herald, an Albany code officer told Tom Gieryic the standard-sized American flag flying on a pole outside of his automotive repair shop was in violation of the city’s signs ordinance. Gieryic’s troubles reportedly began when a group of retired Marines offered to hang a new flag from his pole. The businessman accepted the offer and left his business for lunch. When he returned, he was met by an irritated code enforcement officer who informed him that if he failed to remove the flag he would face fines.
The officer, who contended that the flag was on the city’s right of way, demanded the business owner’s license and informed him that he could face a $1,000-per-day fine and 60 days in jail for not removing the flag. She then wrote him a ticket.
Gieryic raised a stink with city officials and was able to get the ticket dropped to a warning, but he was informed that the flag — which has been in the same spot for 30 years — must be moved by 1 foot.
Gieryic said the incident is an example of “government getting involved in areas they don’t need to be involved.”
“Frankly, I think the city’s law concerning the United States flag is a stupid one and should be changed,” he told the Herald. “I believe in that ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ slogan and believe every American should be allowed to fly his or her flag — as long as it doesn’t impede traffic or cause some kind of safety issue — anywhere they want on American soil.”