An Irish pub in Atlantic Beach, Florida, has received a citation for flying the Irish tricolor outside their bar. They have also been forced to take the flag down.
Owners of Culhane’s Irish pub are shocked that this St. Patrick’s Day they will not be flying the Irish flag due to Atlantic Beach law. On February 20th the Atlantic Beach Code Officer wrote the bar up stating they could comply with the law by ceasing to “display flags other than American.”
After eight years of proudly flying their nation’s flag, Culhane’s will have to do without on Ireland’s biggest national holiday of the year.
Michelle Culhane, a native of Ireland and part owner of Culhane's Irish Pub, said she is “Shocked. This is America, the land of every nationality…I couldn't believe they made us take down our Irish flag."
The bar is owned by four sisters, Lynda, Michelle, Mary Jane and Aine Culhane, who grew up on their family farm in Ireland. Setting up Culhane's Bar in Atlantic Beach is their "American dream" come true. However, they're now "shocked" that proudly demostrating their national pride, outside their pub, will not be part of their St. Patrick's Day this year.
Maria Mark, Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Atlantic Beach told local news station, First Coast News, “The flag is considered a pennant or a banner and those are prohibited in Atlantic Beach for commercial businesses.”
According to the city’s law, “Chapter 17 of the city of Atlantic Beach ordinances, the American flag is the only one that can be displayed, no exceptions.”
Local press was told that this strict law on hanging flags was an oversight and would be addressed. However, Mark told First Coast News that by the time a new draft of the chapter goes through public hearing and two readings, Ireland’s national holiday on March 17th will have passed.
It seems for this St. Patrick’s Day the Irish pubs of Atlantic Beach will have to do without their green, white and orange.
Here’s the First Coast News report