"It's very hard for a small businessman to make a living now and you don't need to take away how he merchandises his merchandise," says Marvin Norwood.
Marvin Norwood is the president and owner of Flag World. He makes his living selling signs, banners and flags. But, that may soon change. Abilene's Planning and Zoning Commission is in the process of reviewing an ordinance that, if passed, could ban the use of all of these items.
"They feel that there are too many signs, and possibly too tightly packed and the appearance may not be what they would like."
The appearance of the city streets, that is. Bruce Kreitler says this just came to his attention about a month or so. He's aware of ordinances of signs blocking right of way or on someone else's land, but he says this is going too far.
Kreitler says, "There's no need to change the ordinances. Enforcement is what's lacking on that issue."
Portable signs, like the ones in front of many Key City businesses would have to go. Same with balloons, streamers, banners and parked vehicles used for advertising. Flags used for advertising purposes would also be prohibited. However, he says the ordinance may even limit the amount of American flags.
"The flag doesn't belong to the city hall, the flag belongs to the people," says Norwood.
Several small business owners have come together and gathered nearly 700 signatures on a petition and hope to get more. Norwood and Kreitler have come to the same conclusion: this ordinance doesn't benefit anybody.
"Before we make sweeping, drastic changes, why don't we just tighten up what we have and see how things go," says Kreitler.