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Veterans told to get rid of patriotic bench save it just in time for Flag Day

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — Veterans at the American Legion Sixth Memorial Post No. 1833 in Park Slope were dumbfounded Monday when they found a notice of violation from the City’s Department of Transportation taped to the gate.

Salvatore had been ordered to remove a curbside bench he installed outside. It was a patriotic bench with an American flag pattern he'd installed two months ago.

“Someone called and complained,” he said of the notice. “The DOT came and said it was encroaching the sidewalk.”

The bench was confined entirely to the tree pit — a fact the DOT later realized – but the incident had already gone viral.

Some were upset the flag bench had to be removed and others were angry people might sit on it.

“It was good that everybody put their word out and their comments good or bad,” Oliva said. “But you know we are not sitting on the flag, this is art.”

Residents in the neighborhood were also confused as to why someone would make the complaint.

“I think this is beautiful,” Erik Casanova said of the bench. “If you look around the neighborhood ,don’t nothing look like this anywhere. It’s beautiful!”

The mystery remains as to who anonymously complained to 311 about the bench. Some are speculating it was an individual who took issue with the American flag. Oliva tells PIX11, he isn’t bitter about it.

“Whoever wants to come by and sit down and have a drink, have a water or whatever you like to have - we enjoy whoever comes.”

And now they still can. The DOT rescinded the notice just in time for Flag Day.