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Price put on patriotism -- $1,000

Feb. 2, 2004 at 10:37 PM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A patriotic banner hanging over a furniture store in Fayetteville, Ga., could end up costing its owner a $1,000 fine.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Eddie Crumpton, owner of Crumpton's Furniture, hung a 30-foot long banner on his store proclaiming "God Bless America," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.

Fayetteville cited Crumpton because the banner's size violates the city ordinance, City Manager Joe Morton said.

Fayetteville's sign ordinance restricts temporary banners to 50 square feet. Businesses can put up banners twice a year, 30 days each time, Morton said. The city charges $15 to permit temporary banners -- a fee Crumpton did not pay.

However, Crumpton said a city employee told him the banner was legal when he first put it up because of its patriotic message. So he doesn't get why he has to take it down now.

"It was OK for 28 months," Crumpton said. "It should not have to be taken down."

A March 15 court hearing has been scheduled on the issue.

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