City Orders Restaurant To Remove Flags Honoring ‘Fallen Heroes’, Owner Refuses

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Johnny Brann, a restaurant owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has refused to take down flags and a sign that honors police officers and military personnel who have died while on duty, despite the display violating zoning ordinances set by the city.

City leaders argue that the display exceeds the allowed amount of signage, but Brann insists that the display is a tribute to law enforcement and military personnel. He plans to apply for a zoning variance, but has made it clear that he will not remove the memorial even if his application is denied. Brann did remove a pair of banners after complaints that the message was political and offensive to some.

The process for getting a sign variance involves paying a $1,349 fee, holding a public hearing, and receiving a recommendation from the Zoning Appeals Board before the City Commission makes the final decision. Brann remains hopeful that an exception can be made for his display.

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