Business faces $40K in fines for flying flag

The city of Hoboken is threatening to fine salon owner David Adier $40,000 just for using a flag-style sign to advertise his business, saying it is against the "sign code."

Shear Madness is located on the ground floor of a residential building with tiny windows and is easy to miss. Adier got the sign to boost sales.

Months after Hurricane Sandy left 4 feet of water in the salon, Adier reopened but said he needed a way to let passersby know he was open, so he dropped $200 on an advertising flag sign.

Now, he's on the hook for thousands after the city took him to court saying he violated the municipality's 12-page sign code.

Adier says that the city wants him to replace it with a plaque attached to his building by the door.  He complains that would be more appropriate for a lawyer's office than his business.

The city code allows flags, but not ones that advertise businesses.  But that presents a legal problem for the city because a bar down the street can fly flags for NFL teams to promote football games.  A U.S. Supreme Court ruling said that if one type of flag is permitted, they all need to be allowed.

Adier says he has been working with the city council to get the code updated but that still might not get him off of the hook for the fines he has already accumulated.