Patriotic Restaurant Owner Facing Fine for Flying American Flag Outside His Business

by Clayton Edwards

When you think of the phrase “prohibited sign” what comes to mind? Maybe you think of something obscene. On the other hand, maybe an eyesore that brings down property values comes to mind. The list could be fairly long. After all, there are several reasons why a city would deem a sign inappropriate. However, no matter how long that list is Old Glory probably doesn’t make an appearance. One patriotic restaurant owner in Illinois thought that too. However, it turns out that he was wrong.

Terry Trobiani is a patriotic American and a restaurant owner. So, he decided to hang an American flag outside of his establishment. However, the Prairie Grove city council decided that his flag just wouldn’t fly. So, they slapped him with a ticket and told him to remove the flag. Trobiani is having none of that.

It all started on the weekend of the Fourth of July. The patriotic restaurant owner wanted a way to show his love for America while serving hotdogs to Prairie Grove residents. So, he placed two American flags in front of his establishment.

The patriotic display was only up for one day before the village administrator came into the restaurant to speak to the owner. He handed Trobiani a pamphlet of the village’s ordinances that pertained to flags and signs. Then, he told the small business owner, “You might want to read this.” The next day, they delivered the first of two citations. Both of those are now hanging in the front window of the restaurant.

More About The Patriotic Restaurant Owner And His Fight To Fly The Flag

Trobiani is currently fighting the citations. In an on-site interview with Fox 32 Chicago, he said that he doesn’t understand the citations. The interviewer said mentioned the old saying, “You can’t fight city hall.” However, the patriotic restaurant owner disagrees. “No. Well, you can because I have an attorney and we are going to fight because I’m tired of it.” He has a court date set for next month to do just that. Trobiani went on to claim that the village is trying to lump his flag display in with advertising signage. I’m sure that everyone can agree that Old Glory only advertises one thing and it definitely isn’t hotdogs.

During the interview, you can see the shopping center in which the restaurant is located. Each business has American Flags flying from short poles affixed to the building. So, it is safe to assume that those are not the flags causing the issue. The Fox 32 report linked above states that the restaurant’s owner purchased flags on wooden poles for his patriotic display. On the other hand, it does not state where he placed the flags. So, they may have been in the grassy area that separates the parking lot from a busy highway.

The village ordinance pertaining to flags and signs prohibits the placement of anything that could in any way hinder the flow of traffic. At the same time, it states that all American flags must be displayed from permanent poles designed specifically for the flying of flags. So, that may be why Trobiani received citations for improper display of the flag. However, those fine details are currently unavailable.