Florida city tells business to remove Gadsden flag

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.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Rob Reiding September 21, 2014, 7:38 am

    Hello Gunsamerica blog,

    Thank you for allowing me to post my comments.

    Rob.

  • Rob Reiding September 21, 2014, 7:30 am
  • Rob September 20, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Hello Gunsamerica blog,

    If you don’t post my comment about the FAMU flag then you are just like the city of Ocala but just on a different team.
    If so, shame on you for your censorship.

    Best regards,

    Rob.

    • Dave Higginbotham September 20, 2014, 10:00 pm

      Which comment? I’m not finding one that’s censored. Is one missing?

      • Rob Reiding September 21, 2014, 7:27 am

        Hello,

        Yes, I posted 2 posts about the FAMU flag. Only the first one was posted but not the second one with a link to a picture of the FAMU flag. I wanted to show that it is very similar looking to the Gadsden flag and I suggested to fly the Gasden flag together with the FAMU flag and to see which one the city of Ocala wants to take down. If they want to take both of them down that means they won’t even allow to fly a flag of a Florida state university, which is even more outrageous!
        If Gunsamerica blog will let me post a link to a picture of the FAMU flag I’ll go ahead and post the link one more time.

        Rob.

  • What I know September 16, 2014, 2:14 pm

    This country is in a sad state!!

    Don’t take it down.

    You need to sue the mayor and city council directly

    The people how wrote and sponsored ordnance, and the mayor who signed it!!!!

    If we go after them maybe this will stop.

    • Paul Yavis September 20, 2014, 8:35 am

      Suggest you check Ocala charter for recall provisions.

  • Russ September 16, 2014, 3:13 am

    WELCOME TO OBAMA’S FUDAMENTALY CHANGED UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

  • Rob September 15, 2014, 7:39 pm

    I would say fly your Gadsden flag together with the FAMU flag (a negro college in Tallahassee) flag and see what happens…

    Rob.

  • Les Williamson September 15, 2014, 7:16 pm

    Sounds like a freedom of speech issue. Get the ACLU to take your case based upon freedom of speech in fringment/denial. Then sue the hell out of them. Its time we all stood up and said enough is enough. Call the local newspaper and get them on your side some investigative reporter they usually love to stir the pot locally. Get the NAACP to back you up and march. Let me know what dy I will come down and march with you. Let Freedom Ring

  • Matt Haraway September 15, 2014, 6:49 pm

    I agree with most comments as each has there merits.Here is what I would do in this situation.I am all for our rights but I agree with picking your battles.First,move the flag to your window and fly the American flag outside.Second,go around the city and take pictures of any businesses who fly a flag other than the American flag.Three,give the council a short time to reexamine the ordinance and see what they will do.Finally,if they keep things as they are and you can find out they have not issued warnings to the other businesses,then consider other options including the “lawyer” option.Again,I am a person that believes in fighting for your rights as that is what so many Americans died to preserve and continue to do so now.However,as was stated,next thing we know,ISIS flags and anything else that wants to be waived in our country will be flying.

  • Michale September 15, 2014, 5:36 pm

    Men Of America and Vets is going to take the Red Neck Cowboys to Save America !
    Screw You Who do not want this Flag Let the ISIS Fly !

    We will Tear it Down Like any Mexican Fag over a U.S Flag . Like in Reno NV. It Took a Vet to “Tear Its Down .” ! A Nation Under the God of Abraham to A Nation of Islamic Queer Lovers !

    • DevL September 19, 2016, 1:56 am

      You do realize that ‘queers’ are executed under islam, right?

  • Max Hoyle September 15, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Tell them check there history, that flag was one of the contenders for OUR flag, plus the same on several states also!

  • Max Hoyle September 15, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Tell them check there history, that flag was one of the contenders for OUR flag, plus the same on several states also!

  • Samuel P of Poinciana September 15, 2014, 11:58 am

    The Gadsden flag is a U.S. Flag, so does the ordinance specify the 50 star “Stars & Stripes”as the only flag. I fly “old glory” the flag with 13 stars in a circle.. Note to Mustang, the Stars & Bars is the first flag of the CSA which has three stripes with 11 to 13 stars in a circle.

  • Mr. D. September 15, 2014, 11:26 am

    Technically 1st Amendment would not apply while this business is subject to local or city ordinances that can superimpose the Federal law, which is what he mentions.

    I wonder what would the City say if he chose to fly American Flag upside down? In many ways Gadsden flag symbolizes an attempt to warn the government to stop encroachng (treading) on citizens, and IMO, the flag is relevant because U.S. is in distress. And so, if not Gadsden, why not US flag but hung upside down?

  • Thomas Bergschneider September 15, 2014, 10:58 am

    If you won’t fight for your rights, you will loose them. File a complaint with the city about the MEXICAN flags. The city will not open that can, then you will win.

  • Scott G. in Colorado September 15, 2014, 10:46 am

    Please provide us with the City Councils or the mayor’s phone number. We’ll ring it off the hook!

  • ludlowporch September 15, 2014, 10:06 am

    Next they will be telling us all which hand to wipe with and how many squares of of paper we can use.

  • Randy Stewart September 15, 2014, 6:49 am

    Challege the rule as in federal court you win.

  • MarkOwen September 15, 2014, 6:37 am

    I live in Mich. Just the other day a man rode up on his bicycle and told me he liked the fact that I had an American Flag flying. He said “I just wish more people would do the same” Gadsden is next along with POW-MIA flag! No one is going to tell me to take them down.

  • Gene September 11, 2014, 1:36 pm

    This is a no brainer unless you are just itching to fight City Hall. HANG THE FLAG IN YOUR WINDOW!

    • DAVID September 15, 2014, 5:27 am

      Obvious good suggestion. Pick your battles with care so you can fight another day. Hang that flag inside on any wall would work.

    • mustang September 15, 2014, 8:10 am

      I agree Gene. This will unfortunately open a can of worms legally. Either all flags will be permitted or no flags, including the “official” US flag (stars & bars). Legally, fly the official flag at your busines s& fly the other one at your home or put it in the window of your business or indside. Concerning foreign flags, you actually have a legitimate complaint and flying those unless they get a special exemption (st.Patrick’s day or Cinco de mayo) for 1 or 2 days is a clear violation. Remember losing a battle to win the war is the objective.

    • mustang September 15, 2014, 8:11 am

      I agree Gene. This will unfortunately open a can of worms legally. Either all flags will be permitted or no flags, including the “official” US flag (stars & bars). Legally, fly the official flag at your busines s& fly the other one at your home or put it in the window of your business or indside. Concerning foreign flags, you actually have a legitimate complaint and flying those unless they get a special exemption (st.Patrick’s day or Cinco de mayo) for 1 or 2 days is a clear violation. Remember losing a battle to win the war is the objective.

    • mustang September 15, 2014, 8:12 am

      I agree Gene. This will unfortunately open a can of worms legally. Either all flags will be permitted or no flags, including the “official” US flag (stars & bars). Legally, fly the official flag at your busines s& fly the other one at your home or put it in the window of your business or indside. Concerning foreign flags, you actually have a legitimate complaint and flying those unless they get a special exemption (st.Patrick’s day or Cinco de mayo) for 1 or 2 days is a clear violation. Remember losing a battle to win the war is the objective.

  • Rob September 11, 2014, 7:46 am

    “According to TheBlaze, flying a non-U.S. flag is prohibited under the city code of ordinance, section 110-131.”

    Technically, the Gadsden flag IS an American flag. It is a historical American flag created by Christopher Gadsden during the American Revolution.

    • D. Hicks September 15, 2014, 9:46 am

      Rob.You’re Right “DON”T TREAD ON ME” .that means AMERICAN RIGHTS. Hard to think in Ocala Fla.that something like this is happening.If it happens there it could happen anywhere !!

  • akjohn September 10, 2014, 2:07 pm

    I emailed three of the city councilmen in regards to this matter. I received a short email today from Councilman James Hilty, Sr., a former Marine, indicating that they are looking into this matter. In my humble opinion these elected officials should be ashamed
    for even taking up this matter or caving in to liberal pressure. The last time I checked the First Amendment was still on the books. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    If any flags should come down it should be the Mexican flags. This is America, not Mexico.

    • Todd September 15, 2014, 10:32 am

      Keep fighting it so we can give others the right to fly ISIS, Islamic Brotherhood, Gay Pride or whatever they want.

      Then, Ya’ll will be screaming about them while they are simply exercising their right to “free speech”.

      Leave it alone, the standard, recognized and current United States flag is enough already. Put the other inside the window facing out but don’t go crying “my RIGHT” or others will likely follow.

      • Les Williamson September 15, 2014, 7:23 pm

        Hi Todd,

        Respectfully, but isn’t that what freedom of speech is all about. The right to express you views in whatever capacity you desire. Let’s be careful. “Our rights but not their rights” Sounds like todays liberal theme they use against Tea Party Patriots!.

      • Solvermn July 21, 2015, 12:44 am

        Todd if the city let’s others fly the flag of Mexico they should let him alone

    • Les Williamson September 15, 2014, 7:08 pm

      Sounds like a freedom of speech issue. Use the American legal system take um to court and sue the crap out of them.

    • ALLAN September 16, 2014, 1:17 pm

      I was stationed in the year 1975 on the USS Simon Lake, AS-33. The Gadsden flag was flown on its bow. Does that qualify it as an official flag in America? Would City Council be as vigilant and take down a Gay rainbow flag?

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