With the help of two of his seven adopted kids, a Bradenton homeowner painted an American flag across the front of his 100-year-old house to send a message to what he believed to be overly intrusive city code enforcement officials that “this is America.” The Bradenton Herald reports that after Brent Greer was visited in February by a city code enforcement officer about a tree that had fallen over in his front yard, he received a list of code violations—including paint that did not meet “city standards,” exposed wires, and too many toys in the yard—and the threat of a $250 per day fine. “I told the code enforcement officer that the Constitution gives me rights, and he told me that the city’s laws trump the Constitution,” said Greer. “I said, ‘Well, no, it doesn’t.’ This is America and what rules America is the Constitution.” Fed up with what he felt to be unnecessary harassment and overreach by the city just because “someone doesn’t like the way my house looked,” Greer decided to finally fix that paint problem. With the help of two of his children and armed with cans of red, white, and blue paint, Greer sent an unmistakable message to city officials. “I thought this was the best way to remind people that this is still America,” said Greer. The family picked up the toys and wrapped up the new paint job just in time for Memorial Day. Greer must appear before the city’s code enforcement board on June 17 to determine if his renovations have sufficiently brought the house into compliance.
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