How big is too big?

By Gary McNair - bio|email

I've been living in the shadows of controversy - and didn't even realize it.  I am a resident of Leland.  In fact, I don't live too far from a gas station that made the news last week.

Maybe you've heard about that American flag that the town says is too big?  It is 75 square feet, and that runs afoul of a town ordinance that restricts flags to 60 square feet.  Plus, the pole supporting that huge flag is about 20 feet taller than allowed.  The store owners were told if they don't take it down, they'll be fined 50 bucks a day.

[Store owners face flag fines, officials say it's too big]

I think that flag is beautiful and it would be all too easy to do a commentary on how un-American this is.  We could probably even get away with questioning the patriotism of the Leland city officials, but that doesn't really get us toward any solution.

What we need to do is find out who made the mistake.  Allegedly the flag company spoke with the city before doing this.  If the city gave them the wrong information, they should give the owners an immediate waiver and consider changing the ordinance.

If it was the flag company, they should make it comply with the ordinance and refund the owners the difference.  Somebody made a mistake here and that is the party that should suffer the consequences.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

It doesn't surprise me one bit if it is true that the flag company contacted the city before they made this huge flag and sold it to the gas station owners. Look ultimately it is up to the owners to double check this stuff. There are rules and limits for reasons and everyone needs to abide by them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to wave the American Flag – it is beautiful and is a "symbol" of our country and its freedom. However – remember that there is also beauty in the land, the trees and the sky. If everyone starts making huge flags, to wave over their huge business buildings and paved parking lots – it seems like were missing what really is important. I also think that if this flag represented something else like a peace sign which could happen and also is a "symbol" that is beautiful people might not like that either. Maybe let's just stick to the guidelines and laws… and move on. Why doe's it have to be so BIG anyway? We get it!


I believe this is ridiculous! Seriously how can the American Flag be TOO big? I mean, this is America, right?


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