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A Las Vegas HUMMER dealer, Dan Towbin of Towbin HUMMER, has been ordered to take down a 30' x 60' American flag he's flown 100 feet above his dealership for a year because his neighbors have complained about the sound of the flag flapping and the obtrusiveness of its looming pole.

While Towbin claims the the flag is an expression of his patriotism, the dealer's neighbors and other concerned citizens in Las Vegas assert that his intentions are mostly commercial, accusing Towbin of exploiting veterans for his own financial gain. One point of controversy is a war memorial Towbin planned to build at the base of the pole. Towbin, who is an honorary commander at Nellis Air Force Base, said he has not built the memorial because the flag was only approved tentatively pending a six-month review. The six months came and went without the city following up on the matter.

Whatever the circumstances, an interesting component of the battle over the flag is the fact that both sides claim the other is anti-American -- critics of those who wish that the flag be removed say that taking down a flag is unpatriotic, while others say keeping the flag up allows Towbin to commercialize a patriotic symbol. Only Towbin knows for sure his intentions, of course.
Factoid: Dan Towbin is owner of Towbin Auto Group, and his son is Josh Towbin, a.k.a. Chopper from King of Cars.

[Source: Las Vegas Review Journal]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would hope it was genuine if he was going to build a war memorial next to it. It would be a new low of business if a person used names of people who fought and died for this country.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I must say as non-American when I lived in the US the amount and size of flags flown I saw was strange - it's rare to see this type of thing in other countries. When I saw the topic of this post I thought there would be many zealous pro-flag comments, so it's pleasant to see balanced viewpoints being expressed. After all the flag is a symbol not the complete embodiment of the nation we are talking about.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I totally agree with you, mk. If they defend the right to BURN the flag, then why the hell can't he FLY one! Especially if he is an honorary commander at Nellis. Obviously, if he is affiliated with them, he has some genuine patriotism. The fact that anyone would make someone take down an american flag because it makes noise is sick! Quite honestly, I'd be proud to work for that guy if he's selling american cars, and wants to put up a big American Flag. God bless 'em.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Someone is complaining about a big flag on a very tall pole? And this in a town that has a huge faux Eiffel Tower in it's downtown not to mention an exploding volcano and a naval gunbattle complete with a sinking ship!
      • 8 Years Ago

      "America is just another country." tell that to the people coming here by any means neccesary, including breaking the law.

      "If I were a neighbor, inconvenienced, I would..." *commit vandalism and destruction on someone else's property* Wonderful. Because it is all about you, isn't it? and i am sure you would love living right next to a Hummer Dealership in a Commercial district. That shouldn't even matter.

      "Patriotism is lame" Great. Nice to know that you take your freedoms so much for granted, which was paid for by patriots. If America is so mediocre, and "just a plot of land"; then try to express your freedoms in China, or most of the other tyrannical countries on this planet. They are just plots of land, too, aren't they? No difference, right? Have fun in Iran next time you go to visit.

      Patriotism doesn't blind people who aren't blinded already. Ignorance does tend to breed this sort of complacency that WILL erode your freedom.

      Patriots don't stand for that, or let that happen. Patriotism means nothing if it isn't expressed.

      Hidden patriotism is no patriotism at all. If you can't stand to show your patriotism, or even something as simple as flying the flag due to fear of what others might say negatively, you aren't patriotic. Panning your own country as just a plot of land among other plots of land is not patriotic.

      Feel free to disregard the importance of your country, and your freedoms. Ironically, you are free to do so.

      But have the decency not to impinge on those who take it seriously, and show their pride, even if you choose not to.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What I want to know is who the f**k made him an honorary Nellis commander? I'd love to kick the guy who did in the junk because I've heard endless stories on how they rip people off; especially military customers. One of the first things they tell us when we inprocess the base is "Don't shop Towbin for a car!"
      • 8 Years Ago
      Patriotism is flying the flag; commercialism is flying a 30 x 60 foot flag on a ten-story pole so that everybody knows where your dealership is.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't care about the guy's dealership or TV show. couldn't care less.

      I can see how a giant flag could be construed as a marketing ploy, but who's to say for sure that his patriotism isn't genuine? Isn't the US a capitalist country, anyway? why not fly a flag at a place of business.

      If this guy's patriotism isn't genuine, and only a "angle", then I am sorry for him, and that reflects on him, and his business, in the minds of people. If I knew that, I wouldn't patronize that business. But, I also would not impinge his right to fly his flag.

      If it is genuine, then good for him. I am sick of the self-recrimination in this country that seems to put a wet blanket over people who are genuinely proud of the USA, and being part of it, as if it is a bad thing to be proud of the country. A little more pride from those who complain about things like this would do good things for this country, I think.

      But either way, flying the flag is a protected right of free expression, and can be interpreted as "political speech". If people can argue that BURNING it is an expression of disrespect that should be allowed, I don't want to hear a PEEP about limiting people's right to fly it with respect.

      And I continually hear news storys of people at their business or private home, due to BS zoning or nuisance regulations, which have been twisted. Flying the national flag is not a zoning issue, or a nuisance in any case.

      I don't care who this guy is. There is no reason that I can possibly think of to deny his right, or mine, to fly the flag of the United States of America within it's borders. If people don't want to fly flags themselves, fine. But interfering with others doing so is something else.

      Flapping? give me a freakin' break. Deal with it. people work and live next to railroad tracks, or highways, or other loud things, and they cope. A flapping flag is hardly something to get upset about.

      It's big. GOOD. Maybe it will remind people of what people, past and present, have fought and died to protect, and what shouldn't be undermined for convenience or truely petty politics.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "We got the low prices, cuz I chop ‘em chop ‘em"

      I love that little diddy, the show however is a little boring/formulaic after 5 or 6 episodes.

      Chop is the man though, and runs one hell of a dealership.
      • 8 Years Ago

      Sorry, I can't get over the fact that this is in Vegas. Lord knows there are no loud, obnoxious, super-sized commercial icons in Vegas!

      What are the odds on him having to take it down? Might want to get in on that action.

      Thanks for the chuckle this morning.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Actually the pirate battle at the Treasure Island Casino in Vegas has been replaced with something called "The Sirens of TI" apparently consisting of a lot of scantily clad "sirens" and bare chested "pirates".
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ JW:
      Ever HEAR of learning how to spell? And drop the caps while you're at it.
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