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Atlantic Beach gives Culhane's Irish Pub flack over Irish flag

10:58 PM, Mar 6, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- The pride of Culhane's Irish Pub, their Irish flag, has been put in storage after the business was served a written citation by the city of Atlantic Beach Code Officer.

The written citation, dated February 20th, states they can comply by ceasing to "display flags other than American."

"The flag is considered a pennant or a banner and those are prohibited in Atlantic Beach for commercial businesses," said Maria Mark, Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Atlantic Beach.

According to chapter 17 of the city of Atlantic Beach ordinances, the American flag is the only one that can be displayed, no exceptions.

So, after eight years of representing their homeland, the Irish pub will be without it's nation's flag on the biggest holiday of the year, St. Patrick's Day.

"Shocked. This is America, the land of every nationality," said Michelle Culhane, part owner of Culhane's Irish Pub. "I couldn't believe they made us take down our Irish flag."

First Coast News asked the city why the law is suddenly being enforced.

We were told it was just an oversight, but one that will be addressed.

Mark took her concerns about the ambiguity of the law to the city manager and then to the Community Development Board in an effort to change the verbiage of the law and allow other nations' flags.

But by the time the draft goes through public hearings and two readings, it will be past March 17th.

The city has assured Culhane's Irish Pub this is only temporary and will be addressed on Monday's city commission meeting.

First Coast News

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