Westland ordinance office removes American flags from business

-
A Westland business owner lines his property with small American flags in honor of Memorial Day.

But someone in the city didn't approve of the patriotic gesture now -- those flags are gone.

Ken Dabelstein operates Ken's Country Produce also known as the big red barn on Ford Road at Newburg in Westland. And every Memorial Day weekend Ken respectfully plants these American flags in a row along his nursery yard.

"I put them in the ground by the curb, 12 on each side," Dabelstein said.

Ken planted 24 American flags. But Thursday afternoon Ken says a woman who said she was with the city of Westland pulled every one of the 24 American flags and confiscated them.

But Thursday afternoon Ken says a woman who said she was with the city of Westland pulled every one of the 24 American flags and confiscated them.

"She pulled the flags out and wouldn't give me her card," Dabelstein said. "She pulled the flags out, customers tried to grab them out of her hand. She wouldn't give it to them.

"She took the flags and literally threw them in the back of her truck."

Ken is 73 years old and even he went after his flags.

"I came running out here to get the flags but I'm handicapped," he said.

The woman and the flags were gone. So Ken posted a message on Facebook. "The city of Westland removed my flags from my property-- saying it's signage."

"We're an all-American city," Dabelstein said.

An All-American City seizing American flags?  Part of Ken's social media buzz caught the attention of Westland City Council member Kevin Coleman. 

"What it sounds like to me is that it was probably a misunderstanding," Coleman said.

And what do you know -- Westland Mayor William R. Wild checked in on Ken Dabelstein's Facebook rant and it appears the honorable Mayor posted "I agree. I'll see if we can get them back."

"Some of these things that seem like common sense can get overlooked," Coleman said. "On behalf of the city council I want to apologize to Ken here."

Ken says "apology accepted" and just between you and me, Ken has more American flags.

"I have 24 more," he said. "I give them away to people. If you come in and need a flag for the cemetery, you get a free flag."

Dabelstein has been conducting business here for 42 years. He says every Memorial Day weekend he erects the signs he says he wants to salute American veterans for their sacrifice.

He will leave the flags out until Tuesday and also plans to do it all over again for July 4.
 


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories