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September 14, 2005

Orlando cracks down on...patriotism?

From AgapePress...

Nancy Maddox is the owner of a furniture store and has hung small American flags in each of her business windows to commemorate several patriotic holidays. But according to Liberty Counsel's Erik Stanley, the Orlando City Council is citing Maddox for violation of the city's sign code, which prohibits wind-operated devices.

In fact, Stanley says, the City Counsel "went even a step further and scheduled a notice of violation hearing before the Code Enforcement Board. And, if Nancy's found to be in violation of the city's sign code, she could face fines of up to $1,000 a day for simply displaying the American flag."

Maddox's legal representatives have sent letters to the City Council, as well as to the Mayor of Orlando and city's code enforcement officer, asking them to rescind the citation. Stanley feels the city officials should know the difference between a sign or decoration and the American flag, and should want to encourage patriotism rather than punish it.

"What I think we have here," the Liberty Counsel attorney says, "is an overzealous code enforcement officer who, for whatever reason, is taking on the display of the American flag and not understanding that the American flag is a symbol, all unto itself. It is probably the quintessential symbol of our nation."

WorldNetDaily reports that the city is playing word games to avoid the bad image their code officer has created...

But the city now is saying, "At no time, was Ms. Maddox issued a violation for displaying any American flags from her property."...

"The guy who actually made the citation (Severo Berrios) said three times that the flags had to be removed," [Mathew] Staver[, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel] told WND.

Berrios is a code enforcement officer with the city of Orlando.

Staver says he told Mike Rhodes of the city that if officials were not going to pursue the flag issue, they needed to be put in writing.

"I told him: 'You're now saying at the 11th hour it's not about the flags. … But that's not what your code enforcement officer has said on three different occasions to three different people,'" said the attorney.

With power comes responsibility. With the power to regulate (cite, charge and punish violators) comes the responsibility to do so carefully, and not haphazardly. The city should admit it's employee screwed up, and apologize. Unlike Liberals, your typical Conservative that's been screwed over by the government, simply wants it to stop. Of course since it's those same Liberals in power who do that screwing over of Conservative, and they themselves generally respond, when they are the victims of government abuse, by using it as a club to figuratively beat to death anyone they disagree with politically — they tend to expect that when they're screwing someone over.

Posted by Danny Carlton at September 14, 2005 06:30 AM

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This is a situation where someone who is the 'enforcement officer' is choosing to follow the letter, not the spirit of the law.

Posted by: mccaskil at September 14, 2005 09:47 PM

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