Yard Display Angers Mesquite Neighborhood

Man says yard display is expression of freedom of speech

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 7:32 PM CDT
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A Mesquite man's yard display upsets some residents. Part of it includes a sign that reads

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 News

A Mesquite man's yard display upsets some residents. Part of it includes a sign that reads "FU/ Pig Vomit" and upside down flags.

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Some Mesquite residents say their neighbor's yard display, which includes a sign that reads "FU/ Pig Vomit" and upside-down flags, should be removed.

George Bannon said his display in the 600 block of Caladium Drive is freedom of speech.

"I'm going to say what I want, when I want to -- that's my freedom as an American," said Bannon, who has lived in Mesquite for more than 30 years.

Bannon first put up a hardwood, handwritten sign saying: "To the thief who stole my second lawn decoration / FU Pig vomit / No trespassing! Violators will be shot! Survivors will be shot again!!!"

Bannon said the message was intended for whoever twice stole the tiki barber totems that were once displayed in his yard.

Bannon said people had twisted the meaning of the "FU" on his sign with their "dirty minds."

"FU means fatties united," he said.

The flag collector said he then decided to show he was also fed up with America and the way the country was going. He put up a display of flags, including an upside-down American flag with President Barack Obama's face crossed out and with Bannon's footprints drawn on it.

A Texas flag and an upside-down American flag also fly on Bannon's porch.

"We're losing liberty every day, and I'm very concerned about what's going to happen to my kids, my grandkids and my great-grandkids," he said.

Bannon said he was mostly angry that he lost his small business of 20 years after the economy crashed a few years ago.

Some of his neighbors say the display goes too far and is offensive.

"It was bold in a bad way," Mackenzie Nolan said. "I thought it was completely un-American and it was unpatriotic."

"That display was clearly made by someone who doesn't have any forethought," Nolan said. "He just did it without thinking."

Tashia Christian said she does not agree with Bannon's opinions but understands his rights.

"He has a right to display his opinion, I guess," she said. "I don't feel the need to agree with him to feel comfortable with him."

Mesquite city officials said they are aware of the display and have reviewed it before. They cannot do much about the display because it doesn't violate any city ordinances.

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