McDonough restaurant owner cited for flying flags - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

McDonough restaurant owner cited for flying flags

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MCDONOUGH, Ga. -

A McDonough business owner may just be vindicated after city officials fined him for flying patriotic flags above his restaurant.

A McDonough business owner tells FOX 5 he was just trying to show his patriotic spirit and give thanks to the military, but the city told him to take his flags down. A code enforcement officer cited CJ's Hot Dogs on Friday, but Saturday, McDonough City Administrator Frederick Gardiner told him that city law is not clear in the matter.

Hot dogs are on the menu at CJ's, but the restaurant has an appetite for service. Darren Miller says the whole place is dedicated to police, fire and military—and it's in his blood. His father is a Vietnam veteran, and he's a retired DeKalb County fireman.  

The walls of CJ's Hot Dogs are covered with patches from men and women who also served. Miller believes it's his right to salute them both inside and outside his restaurant.  Three months ago, he put up flags for country, state and every branch of the military.  But on Friday, the city of McDonough sent him a citation that said the flags have to come down.

"I'm just floored," said Miller. "And I called the guy and asked what they're for. And he said I'm in violation with my flags flying above my restaurant."

It didn't take long for outraged veterans to spread the word. Some called the citation sad, while others were outright angry.

The city administrator, who didn't realize code enforcement officers cited the restaurant until Shaw told him on Friday, told Miller that the ordinance that classifies the flags as signs is too vague and needs to be rewritten. For that reason, he says he's asking that the citation be thrown out.

It's a victory for Miller, the veterans, and what the flags stand for.  

"I've had enough of it," said Miller. "I'm tired of being pushed around for supporting our local men and women and I'm not going to be pushed around anymore."

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