When a real estate agent’s daughter planted a few American flags outside of her father’s office for Memorial Day, the town wasn’t happy. The town council deemed the display excessive, and ruled that the American flag couldn’t be used to, as they saw it, promote a business. They demanded that the flags come down, and that news went viral.
“The sea of American flags in front of LAER Realty Partners’ Chelmsford Street office has only grown since the town initially deemed the number displayed there for Memorial Day ‘excessive’.” The Lowell Sun writes.
The controversy was the talk of the town in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. But it was only beginning.
“The American Legion Riders added another 200 flags on Sunday, bringing the total to somewhere in the vicinity of 700, said Agent Partner Jon Crandall.” The Sun notes.
“We’re ready for Flag Day,” Crandall said. “The town has totally backed away from it and said they misinterpreted the bylaw and the flag shouldn’t have been considered a sign.”
LAER CEO Stacey Alcorn was informed of the town’s reconsideration after the two partners Crandall appeared on “Fox & Friends.”
That national coverage put the town in the spotlight, and people from all over the country began writing in to show support for the business.
Town Manager Paul Cohen ruled there would be “no further enforcement action from the town in this matter.”
He apologized. Even so, the town’s bylaws still need some clarification. “Clearly, I don’t think the intent of the bylaw is to be unpatriotic or anti-flag,” Cohen said.
The matter will now go before the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board. They will have the opportunity to formally change the bylaws then.
In the meantime, Crandall and others associated with LAER are spreading American flags throughout the region.
“In addition to planting flags on some other properties in Chelmsford,” The Sun adds, “Crandall said he and his 19-year-old son, Tim, have planted flags at a new Honey Dew Donuts in Tyngsboro and, with the permission of the Dunstable Board of Selectmen, the Watering Trough memorial in the center of Dunstable. Crandall’s 11-year-old daughter, Shannon, placed the original flags at the center of the controversy.”