An owner of a Dairy Queen store in Kewaskum, Wisconsin has defended a sign on his restaurant that says "In God We Trust" after an out-of-town customer complained about it on social media.
The sign describing the store as "politically incorrect" warns customers that staff may say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Easter" and "God Bless America" to customers and hand out free sundaes to veterans on Veterans Day.
Local residents are already familiar with the sign, which has been in the shop window for four years, but it recently caught the attention of out-of-town customer Ashley Coleman, who complained about it on social media.
Coleman, an Oregon resident, posted a picture of the sign on Dairy Queen's national Facebook page on Sept. 6, claiming that it was "extremely offensive."
Store owner Kevin Scheunemann defended the sign, saying he felt it was appropriate to put it up because he wanted to be "transparent" with his customer about the store's views.
"I felt the sign was appropriate to hang in terms of being transparent about the views of the owner and staff supporting God and country. It just seems that those kinds of values and principles are becoming controversial in society," he said, as reported by Breitbart News.
According to CBS 58, the owner decided to hang the sign after a customer got upset at the Christian music being played at the restaurant. In another incident, a customer reportedly had a problem with the store's policy of giving away free ice cream to veterans.
Scheunemann said that he is open to speak with anyone who have objections to the sign, adding that he will even make arrangements for customers to come in without witnessing any expression of God or country.
Other local business owners said that they support Scheunemann's right to run his business the way he wants.
"He posted it on the door so you see it before you walk in. You don't have to walk in if you don't agree with it," said April Serwe, who owns the local bar PJ Magoos.
In response to the controversy, Dairy Queen's corporate office issued a statement saying it "does not encourage" franchisees to post "non-business related messages" in their stores.
The statement clarified that the sign on the Kewaskum store only expresses the views of the franchisee and does not speak for the corporation or other franchise owners.
"We expect our franchisees and employees to treat every person who walks through our doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable," the statement read.