Flags removed from Chucktown Tavern; Landlord says take it up with the city
By Sonya Stevenssstevens@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Chucktown Tavern has been proudly flying an American flag in addition to a POW flag since October. The owners were happy to show off their patriotism.
Recently that show of patriotism became a problem with the restaurant's landlord.
"One of their representatives came down and said that the flags were going to have to come down and that we were not in compliance with the lease and that it did not meet with the BAR standards," said Hope Young, owner of Chucktown Tavern.
The Beach Company owns the building leased to Chucktown Tavern, and they notified Young that the restaurant had 20 days to remove the flags. Young says the flags were taken off their poles three days later.
"I, personally, don't like to break any rules. That's just the way I was raised. But, I still do not understand why the American flag or the POW flag would be an issue," Young said.
Allen James is a veteran that helped put those flags up in the first place.
"That flag is what we stand for," James said. "You may not like the country sometimes. You may not like the politicians sometimes, but it's our country and it's our flag. Too many people have made too many sacrifices to defend that flag over a long period of time, and basically this is disrespecting every one of those people."
He was speechless when he heard the flags had been removed.
"Obviously, I want those flags back up and so do at least half this country, or I say most of the country. Yeah, we want those flags back up," James said.
In the meantime, the restaurant has the flags hanging on the wall.
John C.L. Darby, president and CEO of The Beach Company issued the following written statement Thursday afternoon in response to the issue:
"The City of Charleston's Board of Architectural Review approved the installation of four flag poles on December 13, 2000. The description of the approval is as follows, "4 flag poles inside property line of a banner-type flag with non-commercial message, (i.e. no message at all) per plans, elevations and specs submitted." Note: submitted plans include solid red and green colored banners.
The Beach Company welcomes the opportunity to file a new application with the Board of Architectural Review to allow other flags to be displayed at Majestic Square.
The Beach Company supports the POW's and their desire to have a POW flag on the Peninsula of Charleston and strongly encourage the POW's to work with the City of Charleston to locate a prominent public location that they duly deserve.
We are proud Americans and salute our armed forces heroes. We in no way intended to disrespect the Country we love, veterans or those military personal taken as prisoners of war (POW's) or those listed as missing in action (MIA's)"