A business owner in northwest suburban Prairie Grove was ticketed recently for flying the American flag outside his store, according to the Gateway Pundit.
He was cited twice and fined $200 by the Village for flying American flags outside his restaurant around the Fourth of July.
Terry Trobiani, the owner of Gianelli’s, says he placed two flags along the road in front of his business to celebrate Independence Day.
Just two days later, he was ticketed for “improper display” of what the city is calling “‘temporary signage.”
Trobiani says he has received massive support from patriots across the country who have been reaching out to him. Over the past few days, as many as fifty protesters have gathered at the restaurant to show their support for the family-owned business.
Even if he wanted to, the restaurant owner says he is unable to pay his ticket unless he signs a Soviet-style letter admitting his guilt along with a subsequent letter promising that he will comply with every sign ordinance in the Village of Prairie Grove, forever. He plans to fight them in court “even if it costs more than paying the fine.”
In an interview with Fox News, Trobiani spoke about their flawed reasoning for the citations:
“The American flag is a symbol of patriotism, it’s not a sign. They’re equating it with open-closed, dine in-dine out, product that you would serve in a restaurant. That’s why it falls under sign ordinance.”
The Village of Prairie Grove denies Trobiani’s claim, stating that their opposition is about the “location of the flag” rather than the flag itself. However, Trobiani told Fox News that this was not the case and explained that the city has, in effect, banned the American flag by designating it as a “sign” and placing a permanent ban of temporary signage on properties.
“They have a permanant ban on temporary signage, so by designating the American flag as a sign, it falls into their sign ordinance. So they’re saying it’s not about the flag, it is about the flag.”
“If it was actually about the position of the flag or the display of the flag, they should have ticketed me for that and they didn’t.”
Anyone interested in contacting the Village of Prairie Grove to voice an opinion may follow this link:
Anyone interested in sending a message of support to Gianelli’s may do so here:
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