City Demands Restaurant Remove Fallen Hero Flags, Owner Fights Back

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The owner of a Michigan restaurant is refusing a city demand to take down flags that honor the police officers and military service members killed in the line of duty.

Tommy Brann, owner of Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille in Grand Rapids, displays flags bearing the names of local police officers and military personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty. Brann flies the flags as a tribute to the fallen men and women.

Brann, a Republican Michigan state representative, was told by the city of Grand Rapids that the flags violated city ordinances because he had exceeded the allowed amount of signage outside of his restaurant.

“The flags and the names of the fallen heroes on the building are not coming down,” Brann told the Detroit Free Press.

Brann intends to apply for a zoning variance that would allow him to continue to display the banners.

“I’m going to go through the process, but regardless of the result I’m not taking the flags down,” Brann said. “These people gave their lives for us and they deserve to be honored and remembered. I’m going to continue to make sure they are.”

Brann formerly had two banners hanging on the outside wall of his restaurant, in addition to the flags.

“They’re damned if they do, they could die if they don’t: Our police officers,” one banner read.

“Thank you! Grand Rapids police,” was emblazoned on another.

After receiving complaints that those banners were political and offensive, Brann removed them, but contends that he will not be pressured into taking down the flags that honor fallen heroes.

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