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Oops! Jacksonville, N.C. faces backlash over viral flag story

Dealership cited for military flag display was in Jacksonville, Florida

(Photo: City of Jacksonville, North Carolina via Facebook)
(Photo: City of Jacksonville, North Carolina via Facebook)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Call it a case of mistaken identity.

The city of Jacksonville, North Carolina is catching a lot of heat over a viral story about a city inspector citing a dealership for flying military flags on its roof.

There’s just one problem: that story originated here in Jacksonville, Florida – about 500 miles from the city that shares its name in North Carolina.

Somehow, the two got mixed up amid the uproar that exploded on social media after Monday’s incident. Now, city officials find themselves fending off phone calls and Facebook messages.

“We’ve been getting some disturbing comments about an incident involving flags and veterans. The incident is in Jacksonville Florida and not Jacksonville NC where we are,” the city said on Facebook.

The message urged users to spread the word in case they saw posts confusing the two cities on social media. But one post evidently wasn’t enough because the city doubled down on Tuesday.

“Did you know there are at least 19 others Jacksonville’s in the US? We most commonly get mistaken for stories out of Jacksonville, Florida,” the follow-up post said.

The post went on to say that the city is proud of its military history, and also extended an invitation to visit: “You will find no shortage of service flags flying proudly.”

Service Flags Flying in Jacksonville, North Carolina

Did you know there are at least 19 other Jacksonville’s in the US? We most commonly get mistaken for stories out of Jacksonville, Florida -- as we have with a recent story about service flags. But, Jacksonville, North Carolina is home to several military installations, and we embrace our service members, veterans, and military history. We invite all to receive a Hero’s Welcome in Jacksonville, NC where you will find no shortage of service flags flying proudly. The City flies its own service flags along Freedom Way, between the Lejeune Memorial Gardens and the Freedom Fountain, the gateway to downtown Jacksonville, NC. We are #COJacksonville, not #CityofJax.

Posted by Jacksonville North Carolina Government on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.