FLORIDA– A Jacksonville business is allowed to keep its military flags flying after a city inspector issued a citation Monday demanding that the flags be taken down, according to WJXT.
Employees at Jaguar Power Sports say that the city inspector, Melinda Power, entered the store around noon on Monday and issued a citation saying that the flags violated city code.
The flags are displayed on the rooftop of the store, including two U.S. Flags, and flags representing each branch of the military, according to WJXT. There is also a flag representing the Jacksonville Jaguars, the city’s NFL team.
The warning allegedly didn’t sit well with a customer, who is a military veteran that reportedly told Power he thought it was wrong to take down the flags.
According to witnesses, that began a tense exchange between Power and the veteran, with Power allegedly questioning what the customer had done for his country.
The veteran reportedly told Power that he was a retired veteran that took three bullets to the leg for his country.
However, witnesses said that Power responded by saying, “You did nothing for this country.”
The business posted a video on its Facebook page that detailed the events, as can be seen above.
As of Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m., the video has been viewed over 4.4 million times.
“We just had the city of Jacksonville here onsite to cite us for our military flags,” an employee said in the video. “We just got a ticket for flying military flags. They cited us for every flag because they were mad that we had flags flying at the top of the building.”
The incredulous employee asked people to share what happened.
“They told us to take them down or go to court over it. Are you serious right now? And then [they] have the nerve to tell our military vet in our store that ‘you’ve done nothing for our country?’ How do you think that went over?”
The employee called the situation “ridiculous” and said the city was “picking on the small guys” over the flags.
The incident soon got the attention of the Jacksonville mayor’s office.
“I have directed city staff that military flags should be treated same as U.S. flag. Let them fly,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted. “I have reached out to the business owner and will review employee procedures. COJ employees [are] expected to be respectful of our customers—you, the people of Jacksonville. We support our military and veterans, and we appreciate businesses that honor their service.”
A city spokesman said in a statement that the incident was under review and added that the mayor has reached out to discuss the matter with store officials.
The store posted this video after the decision was reversed: