A U.S. Marine who served overseas in Iraq has been ordered to remove the American flag and flagpole he erected outside his Hypoluxo, Florida home.
Within days of installing the banner in his front yard, Gregory Schaffer was slapped with a citation after an anonymous neighbor filed a complaint with the town.
“It’s disgusting that anybody should have to go through that. I fought for the flag, now I’m paying for the flag,” Schaffer told WPTV-TV.
The town’s top building official told the TV station the flag is not the issue and that Schaffer should have secured a permit to erect the flagpole because it is considered a structure. If he fails to do so, the flag has to come down.
“I would love to see the guy be able to do this. To me it’s not personal, it’s strictly my job,” Tim Large told WPTV-TV.
As for the neighbor who complained? Schaffer says he has no hard feeling because petitioning the government is a freedom he fought for while serving in the military.
“I respect their right to be able to file a complaint and handle things the way they did. Do I respect what they did? No. I respect their ability to do so,” he told the TV station.
Schaffer has 30 days to comply with the citation. The town says it will work with Schaffer to make sure he has every opportunity to fly his flag.