Hedricks Chevrolet wins fight to keep American flag flying, for now

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An emotional planning commission meeting for the city of Clovis ended in victory for the owner of Hedrick's Chevrolet and some patriotic Clovis citizens. (KFSN)

By a vote of 3-0, the Clovis Planning Commission rejected a proposal to modify a cell tower and remove an American flag near Shaw and Highway 168.
An emotional planning commission meeting for the city of Clovis ended in victory for the owner of Hedrick's Chevrolet and some patriotic Clovis citizens.

By a vote of 3-0, the Clovis Planning Commission rejected a proposal to modify a cell tower and remove an American flag near Shaw and Highway 168.

"We have noticed more than anything that the community is so wrapped up with this flag," said Brett Hedrick.

Hedrick says his team at Hedrick's Chevrolet has maintained the flag since it was put up in 2006.

"It's not only just their own feelings of being patriotic, but if the flag has a slight tear in it, if there's a light out, if there's any etiquette that is not being maintained, we get a phone call," he said.

Before the meeting, city planning staff received nearly 500 e-mails from Clovis community members opposing a plan to modify a cell tower that would remove the American flag they've come to love over the past nine years.

"Never put our flag down, the flag has to come first," said one Clovis resident at Thursday night's meeting.

The owner of the tower, Florida-based SBA Communications Corporation, asked for an administrative use permit to modify the tower and remove the flag.

The company says they need more space to add bigger antennas at the top of the tower, to keep up with a need for speed.

"We were working on from 2G to 3G speeds, and now we're going into 4G and 5G, so the need for data has been more pressing than ever before," said SBA's Mordecai Fayas.

"They make enough money, their common concern is profit margin, and I don't care," said Clovis resident Dave McFerrin. "If they can change the design on the inside, that's fine, that's fine. But nothing on the outside, because it totally detracts from what that flag stands for."

It may be the single most iconic feature in Clovis, and Fayas says they're not trying to take that away.

"It's merely an attempt to try to provide Sprint with the needed ability to provide coverage for the citizens and yet maintain the level of aesthetics that we have," Fayas said.

Residents say they're trying to preserve a way of living, and for now, at least one part of that lifestyle stays the same.

SBA can appeal this decision to the Clovis City Council.



Related Topics:
politicsamerican flagfresno countypoliticsClovis
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