Cameron Callahan, co-owner of The Butcher Shop in Eagle Point, was shocked when the city told him he had to remove his sign supporting U.S. soldiers. It turned out it was all a misunderstanding and the sign stayed put. - Julia Moore

The red, white and boo-boo: Patriotic banner OK to stay

EAGLE POINT — A misunderstanding over a sign supporting U.S. troops had some questioning the city of Eagle Point's patriotism for a few hours Tuesday, but when the smoke cleared, the skirmish had a happy ending.

Shortly before the friendly fire started, The Butcher Shop co-owner Cameron Callahan had erected a banner reading "God Bless Our Troops and Their Families!" on store property at 1532 S. Shasta Ave. He put it up early last week, the day the brother of one of his employees returned home from serving in Afghanistan.

"I just think it's a way of saying thank you," Callahan said.

So he was shocked when the city contacted him and told him he had to remove it or city officials would take it down for him.

He said they told him it was on public property and highway right of way, which violated the city's easement. According to a city sign ordinance, signs such as Callahan's can be put up only on residential or business property. That further confused him, because he thought it was on his own property.

But it turns out it wasn't. Landscapers doing work on the property created the misunderstanding when they temporarily moved the banner and draped it over a nearby city pump station.

Callahan didn't know the sign had been temporarily moved and the city didn't know that Callahan didn't know.

It was a bit of a shock to him. Several of his family members had served in the military.

His uncle died fighting in the Vietnam War. From his perspective, Eagle Point was steeped in military appreciation.

The flames went higher when Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 6184 got wind of the issue. They planned a protest to show their support for Callahan. Word spread further. Calls started pouring into City Hall.

"It was just kind of a goof, unfortunately," said City Administrator Dave Hussell. "We certainly support our veterans, too, and have for decades around here."

But the goof was resolved after Callahan understood the banner had been moved and put on public property. He moved it back to his own property.

Hatchet buried.

VFW Post 6184 commander Denny Taylor said the quick resolution was a sign of fervent military support in the community.

"I think it's wonderful. The sign stays up, everybody's happy. It's a win-win situation," Taylor said.

Ryan Pfeil is a Mail Tribune reporter. Reach him at 541-776-4468 or

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