Carpentersville businessman angry that American flag removed from ad

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Carpentersville businessman is angry because his proud display of patriotism was removed by a major drug company.

When the buildings of Otto Engineering were recently featured in a nationwide ad for a new cancer drug,  company president Tom Roeser was understandably proud.

Until he looked a little closer.

“I looked at that, and I said, "they photoshopped out the flag!” Roeser said.

The company's American Flag, which he says reflects his own love of country and is immensely popular among nearby residents, was missing.

He reached out to the drug company,  Bristol Myers Squibb,  to find out what happened..

“They didn't even act remorseful. They said, we did indeed take the flag out because, here is the law,” Roeser said.

Bristol Myers Squibb cited him the U.S. Flag Code, which says, "The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever."

The code is a federal law, but compliance is voluntary and it carries no penalties. Roeser says removing the flag was more offensive than leaving it in.

“It's a symbol of us. This is the American dream, this company. It's a family owned business, that was built right here with American ingenuity and hard work,” said Roeser.

Roeser says he's raising this issue not just on his own behalf, but on behalf of his 500 employees. All of whom, he says, are very proud of that flag.

“I think they ought to write a letter to my employees and say, I’m sorry we misused your building,” Roeser said.

A spokesperson for Bristol Myers Squibb gave FOX 32 the same explanation they gave to Otto Engineering. Roeser says he won't ask the company to pull the ad, but he'd like to see them challenge the law, so the American flag doesn't mysteriously disappear ever again.

Roeser also says he didn't receive any payment for the use of his buildings.

The drug company did, however, donate $1000 to a local Boys and Girls Club.

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