Jacksonville’s mayor mowed down a controversy Monday after a local business was served with a citation for flying military flags in violation of the city code.
Mayor Lenny Curry directed city staff that military flags should be treated the same as the U.S. flag, the Florida Times-Union reported.
“Let them fly,” Curry tweeted Monday.
His tweet came hours after a city code enforcement officer issued the warning citation to Jaguar Power Sports, threatening to fine the business if it didn’t take down the flags from atop its building within 24 hours, Fox 30 Jacksonville reported.
“Military sign—illegal sign in any district,” the citation said, according to the station.
In response, Jaguar Power’s store manager went on Facebook to rant about getting the citation and to accuse the code enforcement officer of insulting a customer, a wounded veteran, as she was serving it. He said she told the vet “you did nothing for our country.”
“There’s one thing I’m not going to tolerate and that is disrespect for our military in a military town,” he says in the video. “We should not get cited or ticketed for flying flags representing our country.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 6.2 million times.
Fox 30 aired surveillance video from Jaguar Power that appears to show the city worker wagging her finger at the veteran who said he questioned her about the citation.
“She turned around at the door and said to me, in a very loud voice that what I did for this country did not matter,” said the veteran who told the station that he wanted to remain anonymous. “I was mad. I don’t take a lot of things personal. I really don’t, but that strikes a chord with me.”
Her alleged comments were under review, the station reported.
Early Tuesday, Fox 30 reported that the code enforcement officer had posted a statement on her Facebook page, apologizing to the veteran.
“Tempers on all side’s flaired (sic) I should never have been unprofessional and disrespectful period,” the post said.
On its Facebook page Tuesday, Jaguar Power thanked Curry for reaching out personally and resolving the matter “in the best possible way.”