NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – A church is in a clash with Nevada County after being told to take down a sign with an American flag and a message to support the troops.
Simple Truth Church put up the sign to cover an old, rundown billboard. However the “Support Our Troops” sign is becoming quite controversial. If the church doesn’t remove the sign, it could be fined.
Most drivers CBS13 spoke with did not have a problem with the sign.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said one person.
But for others, it’s an eyesore. It’s for that reason someone complained to the county to have it taken down.
“It’s a little surprising. 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 the troops,” church member Julia Stokes said.
Bill and Julia Stokes say the sign was meant to send a positive message and the church never knew it would stir up such controversy.
“Why would you knock something that has an America flag on it that says ‘Support Our Troops?’ I have no idea; I really don’t,” said Bill.
The banner, put up three weeks ago, may be an upgrade from the faded realty sign that was there before. But, according to Nevada County officials, Simple Truth Church needed to have a permit before making the change. And, if they don’t remove it, the county may.
“If we don’t do anything, they may come out and cut the sign down. And, we would have to pay for them to cut the sign down, which seems to be pretty harsh,” said Bill.
The church is holding off on taking down the sign as long as it can. For now, church officials say it is bringing more followers to the Sunday service.
“People just drive by and love it,” said Julia. “There have been four new people come to our church because of that sign.”
The church will meet with the county sometime next week to determine exactly what will be done with the sign. In the meantime, members hope they can keep it up.
The previous realty sign stood for nearly 20 years without any permit issues.
Meanwhile, Simple Truth Church is in the process of finding a permanent home to worship.
(c) CBS News