Code violation, vandalism force sign removal
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - When President Donald Trump was still "candidate" Trump, Elaine Simmons mounted a large sign of support on two poles. Then, she stuck it at the edge of her property along busy North Hancock Road in Lake county.
The message had a few variations, but Simmons says the sign stayed there the entire time without any complaints that she knew about. Then, about a month ago, she changed the message to say: "Proud to be an American. We stand for the national anthem."
"To me, if you can't stand for the national anthem and represent the flag for which your veterans have given you freedom, then you need to buy a one-way ticket to somewhere," said Simmons.
She posted a picture on Facebook and social media noticed quickly.
"I was an hour late getting dinner ready because my phone kept going off. And it was all these Likes, make the sign bigger, put lights on it.'" said Simmons.
Soon after, she says someone complained to Lake county, and she received a code violation notice.
"No one complained about it until after I put up… that 'we stand for the national anthem,'" she said.
That wasn't the end though. A few days ago, vandals jumped her barbed wire fence and spray painted a nasty message over the sign, which she has since cleaned. But because of the vandals and that code violation, the sign is coming down, despite her continued belief in its message.
Simmons said, "I think it's really, really sad."