Confederate Flag Sign Flap

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A Monroe Business is raising eyebrows from some while garnering support from others for its store front advertising.

It is an electronic sign with the Confederate battle flag superimposed with an image of the TV character Uncle Jesse from Dukes of Hazzard.

The sign electronically flips between other advertisements at Hometown Tire and Automotive in Monroe.

Three months ago, owner Brad McKissick posted the sign, a sort of homage to the TV show Dukes of Hazzard after the owner of the show's car, General Lee, said he was going to paint over the Confederate flag atop the vehicle.

"I was offended they was taking it off the General Lee, it's strictly to do with the Dukes of Hazard, it just seemed appropriate at the time," said owner Brad McKissick.

However, a member of the city's planning and zoning commission doesn't see the sign as appropriate at all.

FOX 5 News was unable to locate commission member Michael Reese, but his comments about the rebel flag sign hurting efforts to attract business to Monroe and it being offensive, made front page news in this Walton County town.

"I think they should remove it, take it down because certain people you know, you know black people, from our culture and our history, it offends us," said Knox Griffith, a Monroe Resident.

Other people who live in Monroe see it a different way.

"I don't think he's hurting anything by just advertising what he does certainly he's not causing an uproar in the community," said Ralph Clower.

Business owner Brad McKizzick said his sign passed a code enforcement inspection on size, brightness and other specifics on Friday.

"The sign is in ordinance, everything about the sign is in ordinance," said McKizzick.

He said for him the flag sign flap is about his constitutional rights.

"If they want me to take that off, I think it breaks the first amendment. I'm not taking it off, it's going to stay there as long as I want it there," said McKizzick.

Exactly what legal avenues the city's planning and zoning commission may or may not take should become more evident next month at its' next meeting.

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