Developer Urges Owners Take Down Trump Flags at Ocean City, MD, Marina That Were Praised By Pres. Trump; Will Avoid Restaurants With View of Flags

(UPDATE: The subject of this article, Palmer Gillis, asked for a few clarifications to this article which were granted as an act of kindness by this writer, who stands by the original report. Mr. Gillis wants it made clearer that he wrote the op-ed (along with his wife) in his personal capacity as a private citizen and not as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, that he strongly supports the right to fly the flags and is not telling boat owners to take down their flags, only suggesting they do so , and that he is not boycotting the restaurants and marinas over the Trump flags but is avoiding them. Mr. Gillis said he recently visited one of the restaurants that has a view of the Trump flags.)

Weeks after President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of boats at an Ocean City, Maryland, marina flying Trump flags, an influential local developer (who happens to be a member of the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission) is suggesting boat owners take down the Trump flags, which are being flown on a large number of boats. The developer also announced he is avoiding restaurants and marinas with views of the Trump flag while noting the First Amendment rights of the boat owners to fly the flags. But the politically and socially influential developer and commissioner is clearly throwing his weight around with his public pronouncement regarding the boat owners, marinas and innocent restaurants.

Palmer Gillis, 65, a successful co-owner of construction and development companies who is also a zoning commissioner for Ocean City, had the anti-Trump flags op-ed published Wednesday by DelMarVa Now, a USA Today Network property. Gillis’ wife Sandy shared the byline on the op-ed.


Palmer and Sandy Gillis are active in the business, social and charity scene in Ocean City, opening up their Gillis Island property for events. (Link and link)

Gillis Island.

Palmer Gillis spoke with The Gateway Pundit on Wednesday in a brief pleasant and polite conversation confirming the op-ed was his and his position on the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission. (Again, Gillis wants it made clear he and wife’s op-ed was written in his personal capacity as a citizen.)

Earlier in the year, Palmer Gillis had an anti-NRA op-ed published by the Ocean City Dispatch.

Trump tweeted a photo on August 3 of the marina festooned with Trump flags along with the statement, “Great photo from Ocean City, Maryland. Thank you. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

WMDT-TV’s Brooke Butler reported on the ‘sea of flags’ at Ocean City.

All over Sunset Marina and the Ocean City Fishing Center, "Make America Great Again" flags are flying high in the sky, catching the attention of President Trump.What do you think about all of this? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted by Brooke Butler – 47 ABC on Monday, August 6, 2018

Excerpt of WMDT report.

All over Sunset Marina and the Ocean City Fishing Center, Trump flags are flying high in the sky.

Chris Little, a White Marlin Open Competitor said, “We all have our flags up and at the end of the day, it’s pretty decorative with all Trump stuff.”

Eddie Jordan, an Ocean City Visitor said, “We have made America great again.”

All those “Make America Great Again” flags caught the attention of our nations’ president.

Trump tweeted,”Great Photo from Ocean City, Maryland. Thank you. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

These flags are largely the work of one local man, Mark Odachowski.

Odachowski said, “The least I could do is support our country and our economy coming back.”

Odachowski told 47ABC the idea to distribute Trump flags came to him after he hoisted a Trump flag up on one of his company’s trucks on Route 50.

He said he got a lot of positive response to the flag and when he ran into someone wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, he showed him a picture of his truck with the flag.

Mark said the man immediately asked, “Where can I get one of those flags?” That’s where the idea was born.

Odachowski said, “I mean people started calling me, how can I get one, how can I get one? I mean, they went faster than Kylie Jenner’s lipstick line.”

End excerpt. Please click this link for the rest of the WMDT report.

Note: WMDT added on air that Odachowski said he is giving the flags away for free.

Excerpts from the op-ed by Sandy and Palmer Gillis:

It is sad and sickening to see the politicization of Ocean City marinas — and maybe soon, the sky above them — with the proliferation of Trump flags (and banners?).

America — with all of its faults — was and is already great.

We understand free speech and fully support the individual owners’ right to display their support for Trump on their expensive yachts.

However, we are not quite sure it serves the intent they may be thinking. As individuals who are not Trump fans, the display of flags is as uncomfortable and revolting as a Confederate flag is to others (not us).

When visiting the beautiful marinas and restaurants surrounding these rich folks’ yachts, it becomes difficult to digest our food. Having spoken to others, we realize many others feel the same way…

…Talk to them. The legal, seasonal workers — who provide the drive and make businesses function in Ocean City — view those Trump flags with questions, fear and anxiety. It’s not conducive to maintaining a positive workforce. It’s their families and co-workers and the hatred in Trump’s policies that cause America to be viewed by many around the world with fear of and disrespect for America — the “Ugly American” if you will.

The flags create a hostile, divisive atmosphere. Ask business owners who will answer honestly. Most Ocean City businesses are suffering from an increasing shortage of employees. Restrictions, lowered immigration caps and other hate-filled policies have severely reduced the area’s labor pool.

Remember, college students leave in mid-August. Foreign workers stay through the extended shoulder seasons. To many Ocean City workers, foreign and domestic, the flags represent another slap in the face.

These foreign workers pay taxes, then leave without taking from the system. I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

…We are optimistic our great country will survive this fad of nationalism and divisiveness. The display of Trump flags? Yes, it’s freedom of speech and we respect that.

Our freedom of choice is to try to keep ourselves out of view while we try to enjoy a meal, which means we stay away from these marinas with their great restaurants and facilities.

Many feel the same way.

Consider displaying an American flag. After all, it is this country that put you in a position to afford these beautiful facilities and the luxury of owning such a possession, not Trump.

Sandy and Palmer Gillis live in Ocean City.

There is much more to the Gillis’ op-ed, which can be read at this link to DelMarVa Now

It is disconcerting for a public official, even when speaking as a private citizen, to suggest to people to not publicly show their support for the President of the United States and to announce that he will avoid businesses that have nothing to do with the display of Trump flags because the flags can be seen from the businesses.

(Again, Mr. Gillis wants it known that speaking as a private citizen he is not telling boat owners to take down their flags, just suggesting it. Mr. Gillis was polite (as in our first conversation) and civil in our talk on Friday. We disagree on how his op-ed is perceived and its impact. This writer stands by the original report. But, again, as an act of kindness, a few clarifications have been made for Mr. Gillis.)

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