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Strip club gets a new flag, for a week

Sugar Daddys in Scanlon debuted a new look last week. The familiar giant American flag was replaced by a giant white flag depicting a stripper in the corner with "Sugar Daddys" written in bold black text across the flag.

Sugar Daddys
Sugar Daddys "gentlemen's club" in Scanlon replaces its American flag with a new Sugar Daddys flag last week, which violated the city's sign ordinance so owners were told the flag had to come down. Jana Peterson/Pine Journal

Sugar Daddys in Scanlon debuted a new look last week. The familiar giant American flag was replaced by a giant white flag depicting a stripper in the corner with "Sugar Daddys" written in bold black text across the flag.

The new advertisement for the "gentlemen's club" in Scanlon only got to flap in the breeze near Interstate 35 for a matter of days, before causing a flap of its own.

"I got a handful of calls," said Scanlon City Clerk Miranda McNamara, noting she had first learned of the massive new flag from a Facebook posting.

McNamara said she then checked with the building inspector to find out whether the flag was permitted under the city's sign ordinance.

It wasn't.

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"For businesses of a sexual nature, there are more restrictions on signage," McNamara said. "They can only have one sign and it has to be attached to a wall."

So the city clerk called the company that owns Sugar Daddys -- a strip club which features dancers in various stages of undress but no alcoholic drinks-- and told them the new flag had to come down. The new flag was still flying on Friday, but it was gone by Tuesday, when Scanlon Mayor Jim Putnam drove over to check it out.

"If it's gone, it's gone and that's a good thing," said Putnam, admitting that he hadn't seen the Sugar Daddys flag. "I'm glad people called the city about it. It doesn't belong up there."

McNamara explained that flying the American flag outside the business hadn't been an issue, because it wasn't a sign advertising the business.

A Sugar Daddys manager with the Dima Corporation, based in Albert Lea, Minn., declined comment on the flag issue, although he did say that he is working with his attorney on the matter.

Article 10, Section 4 of the Scanlon City Code outlines sexually-oriented business sign regulations, which follows.

Nothwithstanding any other provision of this code, a sexually-oriented business shall not be permitted more than one sign advertising its business, which shall be an "on premise sign" only.

All such signs:

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1- Shall be flat wall signs;

2 - The amount of allowable sign area shall be one square foot of sign area per foot of lot frontage on the street;

3 - No merchandise or pictures of the products or entertainment on the premises shall be displayed in window areas or any area where they can be viewed from the sidewalk in front of the building;

4 - Window areas shall not be covered or made opaque in any way. No sign shall be placed in any window. One square foot sign may be placed on the door to state "hours of operation and admittance to adults only."

5 - No sign shall contain any flashing lights, moving elements or mechanically changing messages;

6 - No sign shall contain any depiction of sexual conduct or nudity.

No sexually-oriented business may have any off premise sign. No owner or operator of any sexually-oriented business shall allow any portion of the interior premises to be visible from outside the premises.

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