Former Marine Flies Flag at Home and Receives Citation

Many men and women that spend time in the military fighting for the freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

My dad is one of those men.  He enlisted in the US Navy in 1940 and was discharged in 1946.  He spent the majority of World War II in the Pacific theater.  He was at the battles of Saipan, Midway and Bougainville among others. Although he was an enlisted man, he had a good relationship with the captain of his ship.  Dad operated the captain’s skip better than anyone else could do.

After World War II was over, they ended up mothballing his ship.  In the process of dismantling as much of the ship as possible, the captain presented dad with one of the ship’s flags.  This particular flag flew high on the ship’s tower at the battles of Saipan and Bougainville.  That flag meant the world to my dad and he flew it proudly until the flag’s condition prevented it.  He still kept the flag and now I have it.

I recall an incident in the late 1960’s when dad was flying the ship’s flag for the Fourth of July weekend.  The next thing we knew, a county sheriff knocked on the door.  A neighbor had called them to report the flying of an illegal flag because it had only 48 stars.  When dad explained the history of the flag to the deputy, he told Dad to fly his flag proudly for as long as he wanted.  The deputy then told us that he was going to talk to the neighbor and tell him to mind his own d--n business.

Remembering that incident, I understand how Gregory Schaffer of Hypoluxo, Florida, felt. Schaffer had served in Iraq with the US Marine Corps.  After getting out of the Marines, Schaffer erected a flag pole in the front of the house he was renting and proudly flew an American flag.  Evidently Schaffer had a neighbor just like we had who called the city to complain and Schaffer ended up being cited.

He wasn’t flying an illegal flag, it turns out that he had not obtained a building permit, which the city says is necessary.  According to a building official with the city, they consider a flagpole to be a structure, much like a house, shed, etc.  Schaffer was ordered to take down the flagpole or obtain a building permit.  Since he rents the home, he would have to use a third party such as a licensed contractor to apply for the permit at cost of close to $1,000.

Tim Large, a city building official said that he sympathizes with Schaffer and although residents normally have 30 days to comply, he will work with Schaffer and give him longer to comply with the building code.

Believe it or not, Schaffer is not upset with the neighbor that lodged the complaint because he realizes that the freedom to complain is one of the freedoms he fought for.  Schaffer explained:

"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."

I’m not so sure I would have been so forgiving.  For one thing, I have a serious problem with anyone that complains about someone legally flying an American flag.  I would question their patriotism and possibly suggest they find a country whose flag they approve of.  As for the building code, I don’t consider a flagpole as a structure or that it was subject to an expensive building permit.  If I were Schaffer, I would be sorely tempted to challenge the legality of such a building code and posit that it is nothing more than a money making scheme for the city.



261 thoughts on “Former Marine Flies Flag at Home and Receives Citation

  1. Do you need a building permit for a large flower pot? If not, place one around the pole, and claim that the pole is just a decoration for the flower pot.

    Problem solved.

  2. it's our flag and we fly it as we please it's not O'Vomits Communism Muslim America yet. Semper Fi

  3. SEMPER FI...its common for those who hate liberty & freedom to use housing codes and laws to deny liberty to all means, ask homeowners in the area to get flag-pole permits to fly flags and ask them to put 'em on their vehicles as the little would be dicators that you love America and all she stands will drive them crazy (and they may even move away - I'd suggest to Red China)!

  4. Wonder when some nosey neighbor is going to complain about my flag, which is flying UPSIDE DOWN, and shall continue to do so until the usurper is ousted. Probably won't happen; I live in a conservative area where if one isn't a dyed-in-the-wool patriot, one is an illegal who has no clue.

  5. Conservativesniper says:

    Mr. Jolly, you are listed as the author of this story. Please commit this to memory, Once a Marine, ALWAYS a Marine! There is no such thing as a former Marine! To quote Gen. Amos, the current CMC,

    "A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine."

  6. My Stars and Stripes and Marine Corps flags fly 24/7, if anyone has a problem with them, they meet this old Marines S&W .40. Semper Fi!

  7. im a vet and like my rifle and my FLAG im proud of both of them and i will die fore both of them ,people like obumer and ones that dont like this COUNTRY CAN LEAVE WITH THE ELIGALS, PLEASE LEAVE NOW.

  8. Investigate what we did in Mitchell Glen, a sub division in Charlotte, NC. We had someone flying a flag and had it changed in the legislature that anyone can fly an American flag!! FIGHT for your right to be an AMERICAN. There aren't enough of us anymore that care.

  9. As a proud military wife I hate to say it, but as a lifelong renter I totally get it: there are certain rights which accrue to property owners which do NOT accrue to renters. If your property management company prohibits any window coverings which are not white or light beige on the side facing out -- a true example from a previous apartment -- it may be STUPID, but it's their right as the owners of the property. My military husband and I confine our overt patriotism to bumperstickers and tee-shirts.

    And one even has to be VERY CAREFUL about bumperstickers. For instance, we don't dare to put a sticker overtly critical of the current administration on the car, because my husband drives it to base for work and it is a punishable offense under the UCMJ for any member of the armed services to disparage the Commander In Chief while in uniform. Sigh..... He doesn't even dare post his objections to this administration on sites like these for fear of official retaliation.

    Thank goodness no such strictures apply to ME, or my eyeballs woulda popped out by now from the sheer pressure of keeping my mouth shut.

  10. WORD of advice to all the TRASH that would have US REAL AMERICANS stop flying our ---YA GOT THAT YOU MAGGOTS---OUR FLAG----"1st warning--GO to HELL---2nd warning--GO TO HELL-----3rd WARNING ---I am HAPPY TO ASSIST YOUR TRIP TO HELL LOOK CLOSE at the BUSINESS END of MY GLOCK.40 and SMILE" YOUR DEAD so not to worry YOUR FRIENDS will be joining you soon!

  11. I dream of a country and a neighbor that can both mind their own business.

  12. I am on a mission in our sub-division. I am attempting to get every home owner to display our flag. There is only about 50 houses, but I am having great success with around 35 house displaying our flag.