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RV Dealers’ Flag Prompts Star Spangled Row

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The jumbo American flag that hangs over the Camping World on Route 4 in Chichester, N.H., is presents a conundrum between local zoning and patriotic etiquette.

On one hand, the U.S. Flag Code recommends the stars and stripes be “properly illuminated during hours of darkness,” though there’s no penalty for noncompliance, the Concord Monitor reports.

On the other hand, Chichester’s zoning ordinances say a business can’t project lighting upward in a way that would affect neighboring properties, planning board Chairman Kevin Mara said. The RV dealer sought to install two lights that shine up toward the flag, which was installed more than a month ago and is dozens of feet tall, the Concord Monitor reports.

Resident Jason Weir summarized his view: “Our zoning is broken. … If we allow that flag, and they’re allowed to display it 24 hours a day, then we have to allow it to be lit.”

But others feared a trend toward light pollution on Route 4 and criticized the flag as more showy than patriotic.

Camping World didn’t send a representative to last week’s planning board meeting, nor did it have an application before the board. Mara said Camping World never met with the planning board before installing the towering flag pole more than a month ago – though the company should have, according to an opinion after the fact from Chichester’s attorney.

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