Man tagged for flying Old Glory in front of his business. Village president calls the flag flying “disgraceful”

| July 25, 2021

It seems a small business owner in McHenry County, Illinois has run afoul of local authorities. His crime? Flying the American Flag in front of his business. The Village says that the illegal flags are too close to the street and could cause a traffic hazard. Pictured above are the 3×5 or 4×6, standard sized, American flags you’d see flying in front of millions of homes across the US. The same flags that are, as we speak, being wielded by Cuban protesters as they yearn to breathe free.

The village president said of the matter, “I think it’s disgraceful, because he’s using the American flag as a tool to further his business interests.” While I’m not a fan of the blue line (or red line or the myriad colors for every “special” group), the manner in which the American flag is being displayed here is respectful, not ostentatious, or against any of the US flag codes. Flags like these (and much, much larger) are also a staple feature of businesses across the US. Drive down any Miracle Mile in any major city and you’ll see plenty of disgraceful displays of the flag.

From Fox32 Chicago;

A McHenry County restaurant owner says he’s being ticketed for flying the American flag in front of his business.

But the village of Prairie Grove says it’s where he’s flying the flag that’s causing the problem.

Now, the flag fight has gone viral on social media.

Terry Trobiani says he was just trying to celebrate the Fourth of July when he placed two American flags on wooden poles in front of Gianelli’s, his hot dog and beef business along Highway 176.

“The next day the village administrator comes in and he gives me a pamphlet of the sign ordinance pertaining to flags,” said Trobiani. “He says you might want to read this.”

But just one day later, Trobiani says the village of Prairie Grove gave him two tickets for “improper display.” Those tickets are now taped to his restaurant’s front door.

“The American flag is a symbol of patriotism,” said Trobiani. “It’s not a sign. They’re equating it with open/closed. Dine in, sign out.”

But Prairie Grove Village President David Underwood says the citations have nothing to do with patriotism.

“I love the United States flag. I’m a patriot myself,” he said.

Underwood says Trobiani got ticketed because the flags were illegally too close to the road and could’ve blown into traffic.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” said Underwood. “Because he’s using the American flag as a tool to further his business interests.”

The flag fight has gone viral on social media, and Trobiani says he’s getting hundreds of messages of support. There have been crowds of people waving flags rallying at his business.

“We had 50 people out here Saturday with trucks, horns, speakers, signs, support small business, support the American flag,” said Trobiani.

The two ordinance violations total up to a fine of $200. Trobiani says he’s hired a lawyer and plans to fight it in Municipal Court next month, even if it costs him more money to fight than simply pay.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "Your Tax Dollars At Work", WTF?, YGBSM!!

Comments (48)

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  1. Tallywhagger says:

    There just has to be some under-story, back-story, ulterior motive or background. So, I hope. Alas, having lived in community associations, the only driving force may be the immeasurable depravity of tyrannical administrators acting out their inner-Hitler.

    The Prairie Grove village council/adminstration/coven of haters needs a sack of dicks and anal appliances, each one bearing the image of Keef Ulberman or Cocksheath Colbert, for their trophy rack.

    • Ret_25X says:

      it’s McHenry County. Either the board members are seeking to steal this man’s land/business or his business competes with one of them.

      Illinois is not just corrupt, it is corrupt everywhere. Unlike some places where the cities are corrupt but outside them not so much, in IL corruption begins at birth for everyone.

      Which is why I have not been back for 35 years.

      • Tallywhagger says:

        Illinois is very pretty state, particularly along the Kentucky border. It’s a shame to see a place so lovely defiled by depraved minds dedicated to making life awful for others, just because they can.

        Amen on seeing the treachery of subverting someone’s quite enjoyment of their property. Rezoning for tax revenue purposes, public taking by imminent domain, condemnation of property for no explicable reasoning, malicious easements, etc.

        Wicked is as wicked does, desperately so, who can know it!

      • MI Ranger says:

        Yes, I will agree that there are weeds that grow in all parts of the state, not just the “Windy City” (which does not have a lot of atmospheric air movement, just Blowhards). I myself left as soon as I was physically able, and have not remembered fondly of it enough to return for a reunion!

        I would say it is likely what some others hinted at, not just what is said. Does the town have an ordinance that defines how high the flags must be flown? From the picture, there is curb around the building. Does the road actually go all the way to his door? Does this business compete with one of the Council Member’s businesses? Sounds like a good case to get lawyers involved!

  2. STSC(SW/SS) says:

    “Underwood says Trobiani got ticketed because the flags were illegally too close to the road and could’ve blown into traffic.”


    • USAFRetired says:

      I saw this yesterday, interesting enough not a single picture of this flag pole being too close to a road.

      • OlafTheTanker says:

        Measuring the closest corner of the building to the road using Google Maps, it’s 90 feet apart, separated by his own parking lot.

        Where they are fucking up with him is not the actual flag, it’s the flag POLE requiring a permit in the municipal code.. while giving a bullshit excuse about “too close to the road” which is also covered in the ordinance


        The official flag of the United States of America shall not itself be the
        subject of a specific sign permit; rather these regulations are designed to
        control the use of permanent flagpoles or staff upon which the flag is located
        and the relationship of the flag to the flagpole or staff.
        2. Such permanent flagpoles or staffs shall require a sign permit. Any flagpoles or staffs installed prior to July 24, 2012, are exempt from the
        requirement of a permit.

        4. d.
        Flagpoles shall be set back a minimum of 15 feet from the property


        • USAF E-5 says:

          Well, I was going to support this guy, but it looks like he was planting 3×5 flags in the grass right of way of Route 176. I know you can’t plant those flags in the ground without them touching said ground. Guy is trying to pull a fast one. Here’s the Village Story. Says they talked to him for more than a month.

          • David says:

            So which is it? Is this BS over flags on the building well back from the street? Or a legit ticketing of someone manipulating the publicity?

            • gitarcarver says:

              Watch the Fox32 video. You get a look east and west on Route 176.

              What is missing are flags or feather flags.

              Makes one wonder whether the Town cited the guy for the flags on the buildings and then in response, the guy put out more flags later.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Whoever is trying to get Mr. Trobiani to take those American Flags down is likely an Elmer’s Glue-guzzling soy-boy red-diaper-doper-baby who dreams about going back in time to blow Che Guevara like “Hanoi Jane” Fonda said she would have done.

  4. M48DAT says:

    Jeeze, you get caught banging the village president’s wife once and he goes all kinds of commie on ya.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Okay, this is totally bogus, and the guy who runs Gianelli’s is a Good Guy. The “mayor” or whatever it styles itself is a vote-guzzling social moron and not much else.

    All that dimwitted quisling did was attract attention to the business. There’s a lot of fowl hunting in that area in the fall. I’m equally sure he’s afraid of People With Gunnzz.

  6. Harry says:

    “…even if it costs him more money to fight than simply pay.”

    That’s the problem; pay off these petty tyrants and they’ll never quit.

    I’d rather win for $5000 than settle for $200.

  7. Hatchet says:

    Man o man… Some of my fondest recollections of going to military school was going into town on Sunday mornings after Chapel and seeing that almost every house in Bloomfield had an American flag flying in front of it(when I say almost every house – actually EVERY house did have an American flag but not all of the houses were flying flags of ‘standard size’). Some flags were close to the road on poles, others were flown from poles mounted on the houses themselves. All in all, it was truly heartening and inspiring to look down any of the side streets – even the main drag – to see all these flags waving in the breeze almost in unison. From what I’ve read from the above article and even without trying to read too much between the lines, the complainant in this story seems to have some kind of ‘hidden agenda’ and it’s root does NOT appear to be any brand of ‘patriotism’ or for the sake of ‘road safety’. The Prairie Grove Village president’s stated basis for his committee’s actions make him sound much more like their Village idiot.. Shameful.

    • Commissar says:

      “Military school”?

      Are you a veteran at all? Or are you a veteran in the same way Trump was a veteran?

      • Hondo says:

        Are you a veteran at all?

        Based on your track record for being factual, one has justification to ask you the same question.

        Yes, I know your status as a vet has been independently verified. Just pointing out something that should have been obvious to you.

        Then again, given your demonstrated past hypocrisy maybe that point was obvious to you and you simply didn’t give a damn

        • Commissar says:

          You like to claim I am a dishonest hypocrite bud you know damn well that is a bad faith claim.

          I have been factually wrong in the past and admitted it when I was. Just because you don’t agree with me most of the time does not make me factually wrong.

          Unlike you my opinions are based on scientific consensus, the consensus of experts, data, and best know historical evidence.

          Nearly every single consensus opinion on this forum is contrary to science, data, historical evidence, and the consensus of experts.

          And on nearly every policy issue this board hold the minority opinion on what should happen in this country yet you love to claim that you support a free republic and the will of the people.

          Also, you are collectively trying to discredit the results of a free and fair election and aid the effort to install a grasping grifter despot…despite the clear will of the American people that he no longer be president.

          So spare me the bullshit about being a “liar” or “hypocrite”….

          I have been direct and honest about my opinions on this board and my system of beliefs is coherent and fairly consistent.

          I don’t think most of you stand for anything particular whatsoever. Just whatever the right wing talking point of the day is. Tucker Carlson determines most of your opinions for you.

          I had respect for you at one point, Hondo…but you chose to either implicitly support, directly support, or cowardly stay silent during the Trump administration.

          • Commissar Pooper's Narcissism says:

            Because this board had no direction, I, Commissar Pooper’s Narcissism, mayor of Poopersville, must make you guys be with the consensus.

            Because of the rise of the new variant of COVID-19, because this website is visible in Poopersville, because I have to take action to save the people on this board from their decisions, I, Commissar Pooper’s Narcissism, by the power that I gave myself, decree that henceforth and forthwith, be it resolved that the people of this board wear a facemask, over and out ten four.

          • SFC D says:

            I don’t think you’re intelligent enough to be a “dishonest” hypocrite. And you’re a hypocrite because you don’t think we’re intelligent enough to notice you speaking out of both sides of your mouth. And yes Commissar, you are a liar. Many people have posted statements made by you, in writing, that you continuously deny. Take your self-righteous tripe somewhere else. It’s worn very thin. Now, everyone say it with me…

            • Hondo says:

              I propose we start out with the line that begins, “Hymn, hymn . . . . “

              • SFC D says:

                Then let us assemble the mighty TAH choir and raise our voices in song! Please open your hymnals to page one!

                • KoB says:

                  In the Key of C

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque Hym, he is just a Fraud!”

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque, we are never awed!”

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque Hym, we’re looking for a lull!”

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque Hym, from the old seagull!”

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque Hym, he makes us want to toss!”

                  “Phuque Hym Phuque Hym, he’s just a spapos!”

                  “PHUUUUQQUE HEEEEM!”

          • RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

            I believe that there is scientific consensus that you, sir are are delusional moron; there is still debate about whether or not you eat poop on rye, because there’s the whole question of whether or not you’re gluten free. Either way you have added nothing to this, made nothing resembling a coherent point and have once again stolen oxygen from those more deserving than you. For shame…

          • Anonymous says:

            Looks like you struck butthurt there.

          • David says:

            People from military schools often join the ‘real’ military. As I recall, prior military school even got you promoted to E3/PFC early. Would think someone of your vast military and educational experience would have known that?

          • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

            Major Moonbat, do you come here for any other reason than to assuage your own personal insecurity and cater to your own petty narcissism?

          • Mason says:

            trying to discredit the results of a free and fair election and aid the effort to install a grasping grifter despot…despite the clear will of the American people that he no longer be president.

            Even you have to see the massive hypocrisy from you on that.

      • timactual says:

        Why does it matter? You claim to be a veteran, yet you are still a petty, bitter, asshole and troll. I prefer civilians, pacifists even, over “veterans” like you.

        • SFC D says:

          I’ll take a clear, well stated, intelligently written, non-condescending opposing viewpoint over I’m-the-smartest-guy-in-the-room verbal diarrhea anytime.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        And the bear said to him “Admit it. You are not here for the hunting.”

  8. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    These “associations” seem to attract the little tin Hitler wannabes, the clods who got stuffed into their locker on a daily basis and go through life with a hair across their posterior for anyone/everyone. Especially if they are in “violation” of their sense of good order, discipline or appearance. We ran afoul of the yellow snow nazi of the HOA who tried to tell us that the puppy was not supposed to pee in front of the unit; my response was that I had tried to explain the rules to him about pee-pee out front, but because of some sort of language barrier he wasn’t able to process it; I’d tried in English and German and my son had tried Spanish, perhaps she might like to give it a try since she looked to be about the same intellectual level as the puppy was (not true, he was a criminal mastermind). She got all huffy and left, fought the mess at the next meeting and made the old bag look like the idiot she was. This clown pushing the flag “violation” needs the same.

  9. Only Army Mom says:

    I have family in the area, and decided to look up the business, order lunch and send said family for lunch on me. Search results returned both TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews on the 1st page.

    First TA review on the SEO homepage was from Aug, 2020, with a complaint the employee working the drive-thru didn’t have a mask, and an employee was seen in the kitchen with the mask not covering their nose.

    “Yelp Sort” first review was positive for the food, and “positive” for their Covid practices.

    Said family-real Americans, full-blooded, flag-waving Patriots who moved out there 4+ years ago to get away from Chicago routinely comment on how many of their neighbors are former city dwellers.

    They say most are like-minded folks, i.e., running to escape the policies of the city but a growing number are doing their level best to turn these small towns into Chicago. They fear the communities are at a tipping point and the wokesters are taking over despite still being in the minority.

    I’m really proud of my family.

  10. Commissar says:

    This seems completely bullshit. And it seems like the mayor came up with an excuse for why he was cited after the fact.

    The whole “the flags might blow into traffic” line seems like the best reason he could come up with when he realized he was acting like a jerk.

    And this time it actually is a first amendment issue since the citations were issued by the city and not some private organization Ike a homeowner’s association, business association…or Twitter, etc.

    • Commissar says:

      Correction…”Village President”…not “Mayor”..

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      You are making some sense, Commissar. I agree with your view on this.

      The owner is getting a lot of support for it locally and the mayor is not.

    • irishfaen says:

      Shoudn’t it be village idiot?

      [Edited to remove PII -Mason]

      • Hondo says:

        Nah, in those last two comments Commissar is actually making sense vice being the village idiot.

        Now, if you’re referring to the town’s Idiot-in-Chief (AKA “Town President”), IMO you’re 100% on target.

  11. 26Limabeans says:

    In my small rural town we have those same size flags on a few dozen
    utility poles in front of the town office, church and well kept graveyard.
    I am not only thankful to live here I am also thankful for whoever places
    them there each year.
    What a great country!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Woketard Village… but a pride or commie flag would’ve been cool, of course.

  13. gitarcarver says:

    I always look at the codes to try to figure out what is being said by the city / town / village.

    Prairie Grove’s code for flags can be found here:

    Problem #1 for the City:


    DISPLAY; The display of official, corporate and ancillary flags shall be permitted subject to the following requirements:

    1.The official flag of the United States of America shall not itself be the subject of a specific sign permit; rather these regulations are designed to control the use of permanent flagpoles or staff upon which the flag is located and the relationship of the flag to the flagpole or staff.

    By the code, the Village President has a problem in that the US Flag, by code, is not a sign.

    4.Flags shall be permitted in all zoning districts subject to the following requirements: a.Flags shall be displayed only on permanent flagpoles or staffs designed and constructed specifically and exclusively for flag display.

    The question here is whether the flag staff itself needs to be “permanent” in that it must be “permanently mounted” in some way. Obviously, the type of flags the owner is flying has a permanent mounting bracket and the staff itself is designed to hold the flag.

    k.Official flags shall be maintained in an orderly fashion, and in clean and good condition. The official flag of the United States of America shall be displayed in accordance with The Flag Code, Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10, as amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress, approved July 7, 1976, or as amended in the future. All other official flags should be displayed in accordance with the same standards of respect and protocol

    If the Village is trying to use the part of the code that the flag must be a permanent mount, that’s a tough row to hoe.

    Even so, the owner is saying that the flag stands for what the flag stands for and not an “open” or “closed” sign which is a permissible First Amendment expression and would not stand any strict scrutiny of the “message.”

    The Village President seems to think that his code says “they can regulate the flag” despite the clear statement they cannot. If the village wants to put a regulation on how the flag can be displayed, they have to show a overriding interest in that regulation. In that the flag has never bounded down the street in a storm, they cannot.

    Small village with code enforcement and a mayor who thinks they have control over the rights of people.

  14. Jus Bill says:

    Is the street even paved?

  15. Poetrooper says:

    Ol’ Poe is confused (as Miz Poe will tell you, a not unusual condition) but just which flags are at issue, the two diagonally mounted on the building, or different flags mounted vertically in the grassy area alongside the road?