The First Baptist Church in Bartow, FL passed out 300 “God Bless America” signs for an Independence Day celebration. The signs have been on their front lawns for over 3 months. The law says temporary signs can only be displayed during major holidays. Residents are not happy.
“Being a veteran, I felt like I was just kicked in the gut. I couldn’t believe it, that I couldn’t display my love for my nation by putting a sign up that says “God Bless America,” Bartow resident Marcus Seger told the station.
Some Bartow residents disagree with the ordinance and have no plans to comply with the city’s request. “This is my yard that I’m paying the taxes on. It’s my right,” Emmett Purvis, an area resident with a sign, told MyFoxTampaBay.com.
The law has been on the books for 13 years, but they are just now choosing to enforce it. The question is why now? City Manager George Long said they are targeting all temporary signs, not just the ones that say “God Bless America.” Many residents will be at the Bartow City Commission meeting on Monday to ask for an exception on the ordinance.