A California church has been ordered to take down a large billboard displaying an American flag and the message "Support Our Troops."
Simple Truth Church in Nevada County put up the banner three weeks ago on an old, rundown billboard, reports the Huffington Post
. County officials have told church officials to remove it or face a fine because they do not have the proper permit to display it.
Church member Julia Stokes told the local CBS television affiliate
in Sacramento that she was stunned by the order.
"It's a little surprising," she said. "All we meant to do was beautify the area, the corner, and it's a reminder for me — for everyone that drives by — to pray for our troops."
Stokes' husband, Bill, thinks somebody must have complained about the size of the sign, which stands about 20 feet high.
"Why would you knock something that has an America flag on it that says 'Support Our Troops?'" he said. "I have no idea, I really don't."
But Julia Stokes pointed out that the controversy has led to a nice benefit for the church's congregation.
"People just drive by and love it," she said. "There have been four new people come to our church because of that sign."
The local CBS station noted in its report that a previous sign had stood for almost 20 years at the same location without a permit's being required.
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