Store's American flags back on display, city apologizes for removing them

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The flags are flying proudly once again outside a Westland produce shop one day after they were removed by someone at the city's ordinance office.

Outraged residents reached out to FOX 2 after learning about the incident.

Not even 24 hours after our story on FOX 2 News on the Edge, the flags on the lawn of Ken's Produce in Westland have been returned. This is after an ordinance worker made a bad judgment call by removing the American flags saying it was a violation, calling it signage.

Now, the city is apologizing, and ken here is getting a lot of support.

Ken Dabelstein has reminded all of us why we celebrate Memorial Day.

"Yes, I'm here on the earth being able to talk to you as a free man and I have the best life in the world," he said.

The flags are to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"It's not for the business," he said. "It's not for me to make money. it's to support our veterans that we love so well."

Sadly, an city ordinance worker came and removed all of the flags.

"Thursday afternoon about 3 p.m. this lady came in here, I asked her for business card, she grabbed all of the flags and threw them on my table," Dabelstein said. "Three or four customers grabbed the flags, she came back grabbed the flags, and three them in her truck."

The Deputy Mayor Thelma Kubitskey came to Ken's Place of business to make things right.

"I am so sorry. it shouldn't have happened," he said. "And we're going to use this as a teaching moment for our department. for 30 years, I’ve put out flags, and the mayor is totally aware of that, and he is so sorry."

FOX 2: "What has been said to the ordinance worker who made this bad judgment call?" 

"Well, we're in the process of reviewing that," said Kubitskey. "This is a holiday weekend. But we will be definitely discussing all of this on Tuesday morning with his supervisor, the mayor, myself, and the rest of the staff."

So Friday morning, someone, Ken doesn't know who exactly, came and posted new flags, American flags that should have never been removed.

"My father and my grandfather were both in World War II and they would be ashamed to know this happened," he said. "I put out flags every year for memorial and Labor Day weekend."

"I appreciate all the help you guys have given because our veterans are very important people to us."

We may enjoy parties, parades, festivals, and barbecue this holiday, but the American flag is what should be remembered most.