• Jacksonville military flag controversy: 10 things you need to know

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A Jacksonville city worker has been placed on leave after she allegedly told a veteran his service to the United States didn't matter while giving a business a warning for flying military flags.

    The story quickly went viral and many people have come out in support of the veteran and business.

    Here's what you need to know:

    1. The motorcycle shop in Jacksonville, Florida was issued warnings for three military flags atop its building

    Two City of Jacksonville workers issued a warning to Jaguar Power Sports Monday for its display of a Marine Corps flag, Army flag and Navy flag atop its building.

    2. The business owner posted a now-viral video on Facebook after the incident

    The man, who calls himself Shaun, posted video of himself Monday saying a city worker insulted a veteran at the business while issuing the warnings for the flags.

    Watch the video here.

    3. Surveillance video appears to show the city worker wag her finger at the veteran

    The veteran spoke exclusively to Action News Jax, saying the city worker "turned around at the door and said to me, in a very loud voice that, ‘What I did for this country did not matter.'"

    The veteran said he was shot three times while serving overseas. Despite being offended by her alleged comments, he said he doesn’t want her fired.

    4. Jacksonville's mayor quickly tweeted about the incident Monday

    Mayor Lenny Curry made a statement shortly after the video was posted Monday and has since placed the employee and her supervisor on leave.

    Read his full statement here.

    He said he told city staff to treat military flags the same as the U.S. flag, and is reviewing employee procedures.

    "I have directed city staff that military flags should be treated same as US flag. Let them fly," Mayor Lenny Curry said on Twitter. "I have reached out to the business owner & will review employee procedures. COJ employees r expected to be respectful of our customers - you, the people of Jacksonville. We support our military and veterans, and we appreciate businesses who honor their service."

    5. The business says it can still fly the flags

    Jaguar Power Sports posted a followup video Monday saying the City of Jacksonville will not make them take down their flags.

    "They are not going to be giving us a fine and we hope that they are going to be removing any sort of local legislator that will prevent other businesses from doing the same," an employee said in the video.

    6. The city worker apologized the morning after the video went viral

    In a post on Facebook, Melinda Power wrote, "I should never have been unprofessional and disrespectful period. Sincerely apologize."

    She goes on to say she has the utmost respect for the military and her father, husband and son-in-law are veterans.

    7. There are nationwide calls for her to be reprimanded or fired

    Since Monday afternoon, veterans and people from all across the nation have come out in support of the veteran and business.

    Many are calling for the woman's dismissal and a petition calling for her to be fired was created Tuesday morning.

    8. People are confusing Jacksonville, Florida for Jacksonville, North Carolina

    Jacksonville North Carolina Government posted on Facebook clarifying that the incident happened in Florida.

    "We've been getting some disturbing comments about an incident involving flags and veterans," the post said. "The incident is in Jacksonville Florida and not Jacksonville NC where we are.

    If you see someone posting about the incident and indicating it is Jacksonville NC, please help share that it is Jacksonville Florida."

    9. Jacksonville is home to two U.S. Navy bases and U.S. Coast Guard Sector

    Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Naval Station Mayport and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville are all located in Duval County. 

    Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is just to the north of Jacksonville in Kings Bay, Georgia.

    10. The business has gained over 5,000 Facebook Likes since the video was posted 

    The page now has almost 27,000 likes on Facebook.

    Jaguar Power Sports said it is amazed by the amount of support it has gotten since the video was shared locally.

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