A representative of the city of Orlando, Fla., is disputing the contention of a local business owner who says she was cited for having 15 U.S. flags decorating her building.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Nancy Maddox, the owner of Peacock Home Collection, was targeted by Orlando’s Code Enforcement Bureau because of the small flags hanging on the outside of 15 windows at her home furnishings company, according to the law group assisting her, Liberty Counsel. The flags measure no larger than 34 ? inches by 23 inches.
The daughter of a U.S. veteran who served in three wars, Maddox says she wanted to display the flags as a way to honor American military personnel. She says the flags are temporarily displayed on specific days, such as Independence Day, Memorial Day and September 11.
But the city now is saying, “At no time, was Ms. Maddox issued a violation for displaying any American flags from her property.”
Orlando flag display in dispute.
Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, disputes the city’s claim, saying an official contacted him Friday saying the code-enforcement hearing scheduled for today would deal with a “pole sign” and not the flags.
Staver says Liberty Counsel had given the city until Sept. 12 to withdraw the citation or face a federal lawsuit.
“The guy who actually made the citation (Severo Berrios) said three times that the flags had to be removed,” Staver 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.
According to Liberty Counsel, Berrios last contacted Maddox about the flags Aug. 17, faxing her a code section that dealt with prohibited signs and banners.
Staver said the city told him personnel there had received complaints from all over the country about the flag issue.
The city’s statement says Maddox failed to get a permit for a large business sign:
“Large signs require permits to ensure they meet standards and will not become projectiles during high wind events such as afternoon thunderstorms and hurricanes.”