Residents in a Florida town have been told they cannot display “God Bless America” yard signs in their front yard.
The city of Bartow is giving residents three days to uproot the signs or pay a minimum fine of $25 a day, according to the local Fox affiliate.
Around 300 of the signs were handed out by the First Baptist Church of Bartow following a Fourth of July sermon, according to Fox13. But three months later, the city says they are in violation of its temporary sign ordinance.
“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,” Bartow Code Enforcement Director Gregg Lamb told Fox 13 Thursday.
“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,’” Bartow resident Marcus Seger said Thursday.
Residents have already mobilized to oppose the city’s decision, with a group planning to attend the next Bartow City Commission meeting to plead for an exception to the ordinance, Fox 13 reported.
All of which leaves one to wonder just how free is the land of the free?