Town Sign Ordinance Clashes With Shows Of Patriotism - KMSP-TV

Town Sign Ordinance Clashes With Shows Of Patriotism

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BARTOW, FL -

It's a small sign with a big message. However, Bartow residents are now being ordered to uproot their "God Bless America" yard signs.

"I think this is overstepping the bounds," one resident said.

"I just never thought in Bartow that something like this would happen," another resident said.

About 300 of the signs were handed out at First Baptist Church of Bartow following a Fourth of July sermon.

However, three months later, City Code Enforcement says that the temporary signs have outstayed their welcome.

"If you have a sign violation, please remove the temporary signs from the property," reads a town resident.

Residents have three days to pack it up or pay a minimum fine of 25 dollars a day.

"Being a veteran, I felt like I was just kicked in the gut. I couldn't believe it that I couldn't display my love for my nation by putting a sign up that says, "God Bless America," said a resident.

Gregg Lamb of the Bartow Code Enforcement spoke to reporters at FOX. He says, "It's not about what the sign says; it's the sign itself."

Bartow Code Enforcement says that its temporary sign ordinance dates back 13 years and already allows for some exceptions.

"They can have those signs out on holidays that are relevant. You can have a temporary sign around Christmas if it's related to Christmas. Or the 4th of July. The sign ordinance has exceptions for that," he says.

Residents argue that patriotism isn't limited to one day a year. They vow to keep their signs out of principal.

"I personally feel that if it were on a city right-of-way, they would have a right to remove it. But this is my yard that I'm paying the taxes on. And it's my right," argued a resident.

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