By Liam Martin

CHELMSFORD (CBS) – The town of Chelmsford says a flag display has gone too far. The issue is their location.

“On Saturday we came out and we lined this with 200 flags in support of our deceased veterans and all the people who have served,” says Jon Crandall who works at Laer Realty in Chelmsford.

He’s talking about small American flags planted in front of that business for Memorial Day. When he went to work Friday, there was a surprise. “There was a note in the door from the building department stating we had a violation, a flag violation, excessive flags,” he says

Flags on display at Laer Realty in Chelmsford (WBZ-TV)

The problem? There’s a town bylaw that says you can’t use flags for “commercial promotion.”

“This is a commercial establishment located at a busy intersection. It was in the front lawn of that particular property, and in the opinion of our code enforcement officer, the building commissioner, it was a violation,” says Michael McCall Chelmsford’s Assistant Town Manager.

The town wants the real estate company to take down some of the flags and leave up only what they call “a reasonable amount,” but hasn’t said how many that is.

Flags on display at Laer Realty in Chelmsford (WBZ-TV)

“We feel this is a patriotic act. It’s not about our business. It’s about supporting our troops, supporting veterans,” Crandall says.

So Friday, they actually added flags to the display. There are about 500 now. “I think the flags speak for themselves. I don’t think we need to get into a fight with city hall,” says Crandall.

The town hopes the realty company will get in touch so they can discuss the number of flags. This is not the first time the realtors have displayed the flags, but it’s the first time they’ve had a problem. They usually leave them up until the 4th of July.

Comments (61)

  2. Mary Hayes says:

    What a ridiculous overreaction by the Town. The flag display is beautiful and moving. What a wonderful gesture to remember those in the military who died in action. Keep ’em up! Add more!! And please cancel the fine.

  3. Petty little bureaucrats with petty little spheres of influence. There can be no thought in the face of the BORG, only submission….

    Inbred small town politics.

  4. Welcome to the CommonTheft of TaxAndScrewUs

  5. Sally Allen says:

    This is called a “Flag Garden” and is catching on across the country for special days like Memorial Day….

  6. This is kind of a “Real Estate Agent” thing where for the past 30+ years, that I’m aware of, they go out and place these flags all over towns in different parts of the Country. I don’t get this law? Get over it. You are in the USA where most people respect the flag. Shame on this town council. Pathetic.

  7. dogooder says:

    Crazy town-I’m “Glad” I do not live their !!!

  8. Don Wright says:

    Any noticeable display of patriotism or Traditional American Values cannot be permitted in places under the control of Progressives.

  9. Hate America progressives in action.

  10. The govern The little petty government bureaucrats in Chelmsford, Massachusetts truly are beyond asininely pathetic and ridiculous.
    These flags were put up for Memorial Day to honor those who died for their country, and not to promote their business.

  11. This is why Leftists should be shot in the face and not reasoned with.

  12. The “Code Enforcement Officer” should be deployed to the front lines next week.

  13. Frank Walker says:

    Chelmsford is one of the most liberal towns in very liberal, very Democrat, Massachusetts. Hate for traditional America in Chelmsford is a status symbol, the more such hate you have the more you are respected. You should see what they teach their youngsters in the Chelmsford school system. You would not believe it!

    Chelmsford people, the vast majority, are completely out of touch with middle America. They have no clue whatsoever how President Trump ever could have been elected.

  14. Drag the complainers into the parking lot and horse-whip them, and then tar and feather them, and then ride them out of town on a triangular rail.

  15. Lorie Kramer says:

    Send your flags to Chelmsford City Hall 50 Billerica Rd, Chelmsford, MA 01824 They are probably just jealous and need some of their own to remind them what country they are in.

  16. What a beautiful way to honor people who shared the values of the men that fought at Concord, MA in the Revolutionary War. To honor those who volunteered to protect and defend the values and principals that had represented this Great Country for over 200 years. In the process they sacrificed injuries, disabilities and even death as well as putting careers on hold and earned much less money than if they stayed in civilian life. These town officials must have graduated from the Ted Kennedy and Pocahontas school of Anti-American philosophy. Until the people of Massachusetts elect a Republican State legislature and Governor I will not spend 1 cent in this State.

  17. Just remove one and call it “reasonable”

    1. Add 100 new flags and call that getting close to a reasonable amount. Then sue the Code Enforcement Officer and Town council for violating your First Amendment Right of Free Speech.

  18. Just what compelling interest does any Town have in this type of display? Should replace the flags with a sign with all the Town politicians who initiated this stupid attempt to limit the flags. Time to expose these jerks. Maybe local paper could interview them to have them explain their thinking.

  19. Wonder if their would be any complaints from local government if the flags were the Islamic Crescent, ANTEFIA or Black Lives Matter? Pathetic that so much government time is wasted on the display of the US Flag !

  20. Bob Manning says:

    Betcha we can get thousands of good folks to carry flags around Chelmsford. Would definitely cause traffic problems.

  21. Regressive Marxists will never let USA Flag Gardens exist in peace. Now if you plant 100’s of Hammer/sickle and ISIS flags, you will receive full support from the DNC.

  22. Chill townie brownshirts. When this patriot mows his lawn they’ll come down. This display is patriotic, not a business advertisement. Such morons running things up there. I moved from Communist Bankrupt Connecticut 15 years ago. Don’t miss the small minded politics.
    KUDOS to the realtor! What a moving display!

  23. if these were were little rainbow flags it would be OK

  24. ernie4 says:

    drain your swamp Chelmsford

  25. Anti-racists say there is a RACE problem that can only be solved when the third world pours into EVERY White country and “assimilates.”

    What if I said there was a RACE problem that could only be solved if hundreds of millions of non-Blacks were brought into EVERY Black country? How long before people realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem, but the conclusion to the BLACK problem?

    They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  26. Stu Pedasso says:

    Keyword is “opinion.” Someone teach that “code enforcement officer” how to read the US Constitution.

  27. Can you imagine that we as a country are ‘too’ grateful for the lives sacrificed for our freedom…really? What is that town doing…..Chelmsford should be renamed Chumpsford.

  28. If the town has a flag, he should plant 500 of them, upside down.

  29. I have an idea, let’s send some more US flags to the town hall and instruct them to hand deliver then to the reality company.

  30. There is no place in Federal law that says an individual can display to many flags Temporarily to honor Veterans? I think someone should set up a GO-FUND-ME account for this guy to buy a army of civil rights lawyers to own these stinking leftest complainers!

  31. Code enforcement is the job school bullies look for after they graduate.

  32. This ill-informed, over-reaching miscreant of a code enforcer, along with the assistant town manager and anyone else involved in this ridiculous decision ought to be marched out to Minute Man Park and held there at gun point (make it a musket for good measure) and forced to read the entire history of the area in which they live and of the birthing of our great Republic until they can recite it all from memory to the satisfaction of a randomly chosen group of veterans.

    They then ought to be forced (like misbehaved 6th graders) to hand write a letter of apology to each and every patriot and veteran from Massachusetts who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country regardless of when they died.

    The fact this incident happened just miles from Lexington and Concord makes it all the more appalling.

    Hats off to Laer Realty for standing their ground and not wavering. I truly hope their company gets flooded with new business and enjoys lasting prosperity!