Perhaps one should expect this in California or New York, but in Florida aka the Gunshine state, it’s hard to believe that officials there would tell a small business owner to remove his Gadsden flag but that’s exactly what’s going on, TheBlaze reports.
Keith Greenberg, the owner of the Gear Barrel in Ocala, Florida, which specializes in selling knives, was told by city workers that while he is allowed to fly the American flag outside his store, he is prohibited from flying any other flag. Greenberg believes this ordinance violates his freedom of expression.
“This is a shock,” he said. “Honestly, I feel like this is Russia. I’ve been around the world … this is what you expect in really closed countries where there is no freedom of expression. Not here — so it’s shocking.”
According to TheBlaze, flying a non-U.S. flag is prohibited under the city code of ordinance, section 110-131.
Greenberg now faces a daily fine between $250-$500 per day if he leaves the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag up on his storefront.
“The city of Ocala is demanding I take this down,” he told TheBlaze.
Greenberg said there are other businesses in the area that fly Mexican and Irish flags. He is unaware if they’ve received similar notices from city officials.