THE VILLAGES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - There was a big controversy over a small flag on a quiet street in The Villages. Joe and Peggy Ganci were outraged that their community classified their American flag as a "lawn ornament."
“Regardless of how it flies - whether it's on the house, on a pole, or in the garden, it's still the American flag,” Peggy Ganci said.
They said for them, this was the most appropriate way to show their patriotism.
“I put the bracket on the house to display the flag and on two occasions it was blown off the house because of storms,” said Joe Ganci, “so I stopped displaying it out there to preserve the flag, because I don't like to see it laying on the ground when I come home."
The Gancis said the flag never blows off its post. They also kept a light on it at night, and replace the flag every couple of months when it gets worn or faded. Someone complained that it's a lawn ornament though, and officials said it's got to go. Current rules state that seasonal lawn ornaments are fine, but they can only be within thirty days of the holiday.
Joe Ganci, who is a veteran, says the American flag is different. “They lumped everything together and called it an ornament. It should not be part of everything else. It stands alone, it's the American flag,” he said.
Villages officials say a five-member community board will rule on whether the Gancis have to take down their flag. If the board says it's against the rules, the Gancis will have to take it down or face fines of $25 per day. The next hearing is set for December, 13. Officials say the Gancis allowed to keep their flag flying, till then.