A strict permitting requirement in Hypoluxo, Fla., has one U.S. Marine fighting to keep flying an American flag on his property.
It all began when 24-year-old Gregory Schaffer installed a flagpole to fly an American flag in his front yard after returning from a tour in Iraq, according to a report from WPTV in Florida.
Days later — after an anonymous neighbor complained — Schaffer was handed a citation from the town calling the flagpole a code violation. The town considers the pole to be a structure, and Schaffer had not obtained a permit.
The town stressed that the flag is not the problem, but rather the poll.
“Well, he can fly his flag; the issue is that he has to get a building permit,” Hypoluxo Building Official Tim Large explained to WPTV.
Schaffer, however, told the local station that since he is renting his property, he will need to hire a third-party contractor to obtain a permit, which could cost up to $1,000.
“I fought for the flag. Now, I’m paying for the flag,” Schaffer said, he added that he does not have any anger toward the neighbor who complained.
“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 said.
According to WPTV, the building department is working with Schaffer to help with the process.