Property Renter Forced to Remove U.S. Flag and POW/MIA Flag from Premises

A bar in Charleston, South Carolina has been forced by the company that owns the property upon which the business sits to remove an American flag and the popular black flag that honors Vietnam POWs and MIAs that the bar manager had raised months ago.

Imagine in this day and age when we have soldiers in harm’s way in foreign lands this property management company is so unpatriotic like this!

In October of last year Hope and Marty Young, owners of the Chucktown Tavern, were asked by local military vets to raise the flags in honor of veterans. The flags have flown there ever since.

But in March the Youngs were abruptly told by landlords Beach Management to remove the flags presumably after another tenant complained about noise and other minor annoyances caused by the bar during an outdoor event held there.

One might think that Beach Management has some legal reasons for their actions? Perhaps there are some city statutes that are being violated?

Not so much.

What s even more confounding, he said, is that city leaders say the flags don t violate any part of the city code. Planning Director Tim Keane said Wednesday that both banners are legal under the city code because they aren t commercial in nature. He called them “just fine.”

Friend of the blog Jeff Quinton helps supply the contact info for Beach Management should you desire to let them know that forcing people to take down U.S. flags is not a neighborly thing to do.

The CEO of The Beach Company is John C.L. Darby and the Chairman of the Board is Charles S. Way, Jr. Donna Brashier is identified in the article as property manager for Beach Management.

You can click here to fill out their contact form or you can contact them by phone or U.S. Mail via the below information:

John Darby, CEO ([email protected])
The Beach Company
211 King St # 300
Charleston, SC 29401
Majestic Square

(843) 722-2615

If you want to lend your support to Chucktown Tavern, contact them below:
Chucktown Tavern
159 Market Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: 843.637.3681
Fax: 843.637.3682
Email: [email protected]

**UPDATE** 5/7/2012 11AM

Since I was alerted to this story early in the morning on April 5 and wrote my treatment of it that morning, the Beach Company has released a statement. Below is the company’s statement as sent to me via email.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE BEACH COMPANY

We apologize for the misunderstanding pertaining to the display of flags at our property in Charleston, SC. Presently we only have approval from the City of Charleston for green and red banners at this location. Since recent events we have not received documentation from the City of Charleston of any sort that would give us the proper authority to make changes to the existing banners at this location; however with your encouragement, we are expediting a formal application to the City’s Board of Architectural Review to allow other flags to be displayed.

Furthermore, it has been brought to our attention that a South Carolina Law was passed in 2002, South Carolina Act No. 344, Section 27-1-60, to allow the American flag to fly regardless of existing zoning laws. This being the case an American flag will be raised and flown on each flag pole next week.

Finally, and most importantly, we have the utmost respect and honor for our country and its veterans or those military personnel taken as prisoners of war (POW’s) or listed as missing in action (MIA’s). We are proud Americans who salute our Armed Forces heroes.

God Bless America,
Your Friends at The Beach Company
www.thebeachcompany.com

**UPDATE #2** 5/9/12

Another press release from Beach Management:

THE BEACH COMPANY AND CITY OFFICIALS RESOLVE FLAG MISUNDERSTANDING

Charleston, SC (April 9, 2012) – The Beach Company Officials met today with Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and other City of Charleston Officials in an effort to resolve the flag controversy at its Majestic Square office building in downtown Charleston.

As stated by Company Officials in previous press releases, The Beach Company is seeking clarification from the City, as there has been conflicting interpretations regarding the types of flags at this location. The Beach Company sought the City’s approval to suspend all the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) restrictions previously mandated in favor of providing a space for displaying the American Flag and the POW-MIA flag to honor and support all Americans having served in our armed services. Mayor Riley indicated to The Beach Company that the City would support the Company in flying the POW-MIA flag and would not enforce ordinances that were required in 2000 to allow only banners of green and red. In addition, The Beach Company urged the Mayor to seek a more appropriate space on the peninsula for the display of this flag so to properly honor the commitment and bravery of our country’s heroes.

The flag controversy began when a tenant and its customers of this building removed the existing banners, which were not part of their leased premises, and raised its own flags without seeking the approval of Company Officials. The Beach Company, out of obligation to enforce the BAR approval, removed the flags to gain compliance and to seek an amendment and reversal of the BAR’s original stance on its banner displays for this property.

Subsequent quotes of misinformation by many parties have circulated and prompted the Company Officials to seek the City’s immediate approval to return the flags that were previously not allowed. With this resolution, The Beach Company is very excited and proud to display both the American Flag and the POW-MIA flag on its property, with a display of respect and heartfelt thanks to each and every Veteran.

Something for Easter
Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
  • Before anyone does anything, read the comments section that is with The Post and Courier story about the above-posted controversy.

    I will cut and paste two of the most recent comments.

    Posted by Heather Eichelberg:

    Official statement from the beach company

    we apologize for the misunderstanding pertaining to the display of flags at our property in charleston, sc. presently we only have approval from the city of charleston for green and red banners at this location. since recent events we have not received documentation from the city of charleston of any sort that would give us the proper authority to make changes to the existing banners at this location; however with your encouragement, we are expediting a formal application to the charleston’s board of architectural review to allow other flags to be displayed.

    furthermore, it has been brought to our attention that a south carolina law was passed in 2002, south carolina act no. 344, section 27-1-60, to allow the american flag to fly regardless of existing zoning laws. this being the case, an american flag will be raised and flown on each flag pole next week.

    finally, and most importantly, we have the utmost respect and honor for our country and its veterans or those military personnel taken as prisoners of war (pow’s) or listed as missing in action (mia’s). we are proud americans who salute our armed forces heroes.

    god bless america,
    your friends at the beach company
    http://www.thebeachcompany.com

    Posted by Paul Godbout:

    Great news…..i just read on the facebook page that the the bar owners received a letter today from the beach co. stating that they would be putting the flags back up!!!!!! congrats to all and thank you all for letting them know how you feel. i don’t know the owners of this bar, but i plan to go down and shake their hands and have a beer with them. being “pc” is not always correct!

  • Commander_Chico

    And this has been another Warner Todd Huston BS blue plate special . . . . .much ado about nothing.

    From the same guy who just accused a combat veteran of running on his military record and not paying his “dues,” even though he’s been an elected official since 2008.

    Anyways, I thought one of the rights of owning property was being able to decide how it looks without a mob demanding I fly flags on it.

    Either you’re for property rights or you’re not.

    If I owned that property, I’d be jacking up the rent on the Chucktown Tavern for the hassle.

    • Ken in Camarillo

       So… let’s look at Chico’s claims:

      “From the same guy who just accused a combat veteran of running on his
      military record and not paying his “dues,” even though he’s been an
      elected official since 2008.” The combat veteran is Nathan Fletcher.

      This relates to the San Diego Mayor election in which Carl DeMaio, a San Diego Councilman since 2008, is running for Mayor. DeMaio has been active in trying to reform the financial management of San Diego since 2003, and has been a man of action rather than just talk.

      Nathan Fletcher has been an elected official since 2008… a California Assemblyman. He now wants to run for mayor and is running against DeMaio in the Republican primary. The Republican party endorsed DeMaio because he has been an active incumbant doing a good job. The party did not reject Fletcher, they just thought DeMaio had been doing a good job and should continue.

      Huston may have exaggerated in saying Fletcher was running only on his military service, but the complete story does support DeMaio as a better candidate. If Chico had read the background on the Mayor contest, he would realize his criticism of Huston’s comments is trivial nit picking.

      “Anyways, I thought one of the rights of owning property was being able
      to decide how it looks without a mob demanding I fly flags on it. Either you’re for property rights or you’re not.”

      It isn’t a mob and it isn’t demands. It is a leaseholder making a legitimate request. Maybe Chico isn’t educated enough to realize that a lease is considered an asset because it gives you certain rights regarding the use of the property you have leased.

      “If I owned that property, I’d be jacking up the rent on the Chucktown Tavern for the hassle.”

      Maybe Chico isn’t educated enough to know that, absent unusual circumstances, the landlord cannot change the terms of a lease until it expires, when a new lease is renegotiated.

      Chico should have enough self respect to research the facts before embarrassing himself making lame comments.

      • Commander_Chico

        Fine, jack up the rent on the next lease – or have Chucktown vacate for a new tenant who is not going to hassle me with internet campaigns.

        DeMaio is a hack-of-all-hacks who is sucking the government teat with his “institutes.”  

        Fletcher is the better choice for that reason alone, let alone his combat service.

        • jim_m

           Perhaps Chica dislikes DeMaio because he is the first openly Gay  councilman in San Diego and like most lefties you cannot stand the idea of an openly gay republican because it shows that conservatives are actually more open minded than the left,

          • Commander_Chico

            If you read my post in the other thread and the link therein, you will see that DeMaio is a shady trough-feeder who made megabucks off of dubious government contracts while posturing as a fiscal reformer. 

            That is what he was doing while his contemporary Fletcher was in Fallujah with the Marines.

            In other words, OK for DeMaio to use his political connections to make millions on bogus “planning” conferences, but not OK for firefighters to get a good pension. DeMaio’s a typical establishment hypocrite of the Gingrich and Duke Cunningham type.

    • Brucehenry

      Let’s not forget that canvassers = protesters, and also contraceptives are “sex aides.”

      • jim_m

        Perhaps if there weren’t so many “tolerant” leftists that cannot tolerate the display of the US flag it would not seem so plausible that this was yet another case of leftist anti-American zeal.

        Also, consider that nothing about what Dave commented precludes exactly that from being the case. The leasing company does not claim to have had any order to take down the flags. They were acting on their own accord and seem to have been looking for an excuse to remove the flags.  Now that there is an uproar they unexpectedly find that they have no legal grounds to do so.

        • Commander_Chico

          Yes, because we all know that commercial property owners and landlords are usually ardent leftists.  

          Anyways, what could be more socialist than demanding that a private property owner display patriotic symbols of the state on their property?

          I bet that there are issues here that go beyond the flags – probably the noise.

          • jim_m

             what could be more socialist than demanding that a private property
            owner display patriotic symbols of the state on their property?

            The left hates the symbols of this country.  Maybe a flag with obama’s image on it would be acceptable.  Or Che.  The left seems to have a fascination with murderers and dictators.

          • Commander_Chico

            “The left” this, “the left” that, yadda, yadda. 

            I’m sure that aforesaid “dictators” would require the display of the flag, or waterboard you for not flying it.

          • jim_m

            I see you don’t deny my statements.  I’m sure that obama would have no problem forcing everyone to fly this flag and I am doubly sure that the left would have no problem obeying.  http://www.ruffinflagcompany.net/productinfo.aspx?productid=839304

          • Commander_Chico

            Somehow I can’t get disturbed about Obama’s image on the flag – it’s been done before.

            Anyways, in the spirit of the Zen master who said “the Buddha is a dried turd,” the flag is nothing, the Constitution is everything.

          • jim_m

             My point was that the obama flag is the one and only one that is acceptable to the left.  It is offensive in that it is used in the same manner as banners of Mao, Stalin and Lenin have been used. 

            A campaign advert is one thing, a cult of personality is quite another.

  • Tater_Salad

    Odd that the explanation from the property owners, who certainly have a say in the matter, wasn’t included in Mr. Huston attempt to wrap himself in the American flag.

    Last time I checked, in my America property owners have more rights than property renters.

    Oh, but it’s the American flag and the POW flag (wave wave).

    How patriotic – hiding the position of the property owners which, if you bother to read it, makes a heck of a lot of sense.

    Apparently too much sense for Mr. Huston.

    • Ken in Camarillo

      So… let’s look at Fred’s claims:

      “Odd that the explanation from the property owners, who certainly have a say in the matter, wasn’t included in Mr. Huston attempt to wrap himself in the American flag.”

      As a matter of fact, Huston did include the explanation given by the
      property owners to the tavern. The later statements of the property
      owners did not dispute that original account, which was written in the
      newspaper story about the incident.

      “Last time I checked, in my America property owners have more rights than property renters.”

      We are all glad that Fred does not define America. The fact is, when
      you rent or lease a property, you are given control over the use of the
      property in exchange for the rent you pay. The landlord has very
      restricted rights at that point, mainly relating to protecting the
      property from damage and loss of value.

      “How patriotic – hiding the position of the property owners which, if you bother to read it, makes a heck of a lot of sense.”

      Now Fred talks about the later position of the property owners, which
      wasn’t known when Huston made this post. The later explanation was
      created as a result of complaints from the public triggered by the
      newspaper article and perhaps this post. Note that the new explanation
      implies they thought the city wouldn’t let them fly the flags; a
      disingenuous explanation, as the property owners didn’t object to the
      flags for many months, and when they did object, they did not check with
      the city to see if there was a problem.

      As with Chico, Fred should research and understand the facts before embarrassing himself making a lame comment.

      • jim_m

         Now Fred talks about the later position of the property owners, which
        wasn’t known when Huston made this post

        Ah, but you see the leftist would have published a falsehood even if they knew it was false simply for the purpose of advancing their agenda.  We’ve seen that multiple times over the last few years.  We also know that leftists are incapable of understanding where the right comes from ( http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/03/30/want-to-end-rapid-partisanship-reform-american-academia/ ).

        Fred is merely projecting onto WTH what he would have done.

  • Ken in Camarillo

    oops, double post

  • makindescene

    Gee…if the Youngs just decided to stop paying rent and just Occupy it, they could have flown those flags and trashed the whole place and would have the adoration of the left. 

  • Folks, please go easy on the author of the above post. I doubt that he knew about the property owner’s “about face” prior to publishing his post.

    Also, I would give the property owner the benefit of the doubt, since the owner had been given the impression that the city had to grant permission for those particular flags to be displayed.

    Anyway, the problem is resolved.

  • just a small thought from my head, when did the FLAG become a banner?

    • Commander_Chico

      Since “The Star Spangled Banner?”

  • My HOA, in Georgia, recently sent a certified letter demanding I remove the Blue Star flag from my front porch.  I was enraged.  My son was saddened.   He is, again, deployed to Afghanistan with his SFODA team, following repeated deployments to Iraq.  I put the flag up almost ten years ago at his request and heard not a word from the HOA .  A veteran myself, I keep an American flag on my covered front porch as well, on an eagle topped pole, lit by automatic lights from dusk till dawn.  The letter didn’t mention the American flag, only the one that honors my son’s service.  A flag is a rarity in the neighborhood, unless its a college football flag or a holiday flag of some sort.  The People have become easily amused, quickly bored, and totally forgetful of the sacrifices being made.  I expect to receive a complaint about the Stars & Stripes any day.  What happened to the bill introduced in the Senate by Webb from Virginia, making it unlawful for HOAs to harass residents about Blue and Gold Star flags?

    • Commander_Chico

      I suggest calling a meeting of the HOA and making your case and putting it to a vote.  Ask if you can invite the press.   

  • PR29401

    THE BEACH COMPANY
    AND CITY OFFICIALS RESOLVE FLAG MISUNDERSTANDING

    Charleston,
    SC  (April 9, 2012) – The Beach Company Officials met
    today with Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and other City of Charleston Officials in
    an effort to resolve the flag controversy at its Majestic Square office
    building in downtown Charleston.  As
    stated by Company Officials in previous press releases, The Beach Company is
    seeking clarification from the City, as there has been conflicting
    interpretations regarding the types of flags at this location. The Beach
    Company sought the City’s approval to suspend all the Board of Architectural
    Review (BAR) restrictions previously mandated in favor of providing a space for
    displaying the American Flag and the POW-MIA flag to honor and support all
    Americans having served in our armed services. Mayor Riley indicated to The
    Beach Company that the City would support the Company in flying the POW-MIA
    flag and would not enforce ordinances that were required in 2000 to allow only
    banners of green and red. In addition, The Beach Company urged the Mayor to
    seek a more appropriate space on the peninsula for the display of this flag so
    to properly honor the commitment and bravery of our country’s heroes.

    The
    flag controversy began when a tenant and its customers of this building removed
    the existing banners, which were not part of their leased premises, and raised
    its own flags without seeking the approval of Company Officials. The Beach
    Company, out of obligation to enforce the BAR approval, removed the flags to
    gain compliance and to seek an amendment and reversal of the BAR’s original
    stance on its banner displays for this property.

    Subsequent
    quotes of misinformation by many parties have circulated and prompted the
    Company Officials to seek the City’s immediate approval to return the flags
    that were previously not allowed. With this resolution, The Beach Company is
    very excited and proud to display both the American Flag and the POW-MIA flag
    on its property, with a display of respect and heartfelt thanks to each and
    every Veteran.

  • PR29401

    Dear
    Editor:

    Over
    the past week, we at The Beach Company have been pulled into an interesting
    debate about patriotism and civic engagement. We have also witnessed the
    incredible power of social media – some good, some bad.

    I
    would like to initially clarify what The Beach Company has always stood for. We
    consider our role as responsible, responsive corporate citizens to be of utmost
    importance. Our employees number over 260, and our investments literally cover
    the Lowcountry. We work here, live here, and have invested generations of our
    energy into this place we call home.

    We
    are proud Americans. I am a second generation Citadel graduate, and many of our
    friends have and continue to serve bravely in the military. Some came home;
    others never did. We feel their loss to this day.

    When
    last week’s news broke that we had requested the removal of two flags – one
    American and one POW/MIA – from poles on Market Street, we were unfortunately,
    immediately painted as unpatriotic. This could not be further from the truth.

    The
    fact is that we were simply working with a tenant through what we perceived to
    be a private matter pertaining to the adherence to city regulations.

    Let
    me be clear: The Beach Company was in no way expressing disrespect or disregard
    for the men and women who have served – and who currently serve in our armed
    forces. We were not objecting to the flag for any political or aesthetic
    reasons. We were simply attempting to comply with city requirements.

    Since
    then, we have received many very angry emails and calls, indicating how
    passionately many people feel about these flags, and their right to display
    them. We have been stunned by the tone, and by the speed with which
    misinformation spread nationwide.

    As
    of Monday, both flags are flying on Market Street. We have concluded that the
    positive result of this debate would be for the City to find an appropriate,
    permanent, highly public place for this honorable reminder to wave. But we
    leave that to others to work out. Until they do, the flags remain at Majestic
    Square.

    Our
    company has been here for more than 65 years, and we believe our legacy and
    reputation will stand the test of this week-long misunderstanding.

    Sincerely,

    John
    C. L. Darby

    President and Chief
    Executive Officer

    The Beach Company

    211 King St., Suite 300

    Charleston,
    SC  29401

    • Commander_Chico

      Obviously the likes have Warner have caused enough hassle for the property owner for him to employ bots to stop the flood of nutbar emails.

  • The Beach Company has been unfairly criticized in this flag controversy.
    I think ALL the facts should be reported before drawing any
    conclusions. The flag poles, although located in front of the Chuck Town
    Tavern are not part of the restaurant. They are actually part of the
    common area of Majestic Square where the restaurant is located.
    According to The Beach Company, they went before the Architectural
    Review Board in 2000 and filed an application to install four flag poles
    and banners at Majestic Square. The application was approved but
    specifically stated that the flags had to be “banner-type with non-type
    commercial messages (i.e. no message at all), per plans, elevations and
    specs submitted.” The plans showed red and green banners. Government
    over-regulation at its finest!

    When Chuck Town Tavern decided to remove the banners to fly the American
    and POW/MIA flags, they did so without asking permission from The Beach
    Company, which honestly, they should have done. The Beach Company,
    fearing the all-powerful City of Charleston BAR, asked Chuck Town Tavern
    to remove the flags, siting the provisions of the original permit
    approval.

    The Beach Company has been building, developing and creating jobs in the
    Lowcountry for 65 years. Why would they intentionally and with malice
    incite Veterans, Patriots and Citizens by asking the flags to be removed
    for no legitimate reason. They were simply obeying the law as it was
    presented to them by the BAR.

    In fact, I think the City of Charleston should be held accountable for
    some of this controversy. Channel 4 News went to the City to ask about
    flag-flying ordinances and they pretty much threw The Beach Company
    under the bus stating that they had no problem with the flags – it
    wasn’t illegal to fly them. If that’s the case – why bother with the
    banner permit process to begin with? Guess the City doesn’t want to miss
    out on an opportunity to collect a fee!

    It’s also my understanding that John Darby, President and CEO of The
    Beach Company met with Mayor Riley and City officials and suggested that
    a more permanent and prominent location, such as a “public land” be
    dedicated to our Veterans, POWs and MIAs. The City of Charleston SHOULD
    honor our Vets with a public memorial that everyone can observe in a
    respectful way. It should be a place like Patriot’s Point in Mount
    Pleasant, that not only honors, but educates. The city apparently agrees
    and plans to construct such a memorial – thanks to John Darby of The
    Beach Company!

    I know you Bloggers and Tweeters out there would like to take credit for
    strong-arming The Beach Company to reverse its decision, but that,
    quite frankly, isn’t so. This was a simple misunderstanding that was
    taken personally because of omitted facts and media dramatization.

    This is my informed opinion and I sincerely hope that everyone involved receives the respect they deserve –

    Veterans, POWs, MIAs and The Beach Company – for service to our country and our community!