Of all the things that cause the left to be outraged (and there’s a pretty big list that’s growing every day), this one has to take the cake…

A new sign at a longstanding Philly watering hole has some of the neighborhood’s newcomers outraged.

It’s a sign that would’ve stopped Michelle Obama dead in her tracks, unless, of course, her husband was President of the United States…

About 15 minutes into my Thursday-night visit to Old Philadelphia Bar, the inevitable happened. A man, who said he was a former firefighter before saying that he was a Mexican, which he then said was “just a joke” (the Mexican part), walked up to the jukebox, put his money inside, and played the 1984 Lee Greenwood hit “God Bless the USA.” And as the anthemic chorus began, many of the patriotic patrons at the bar joined in:

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
’Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

It’s a fitting theme song for the smoky little bar at the corner of Martha and Dauphin streets in the Kensington section of Philadelphia — just around the corner from popular spots like Pizza Brain and Martha, and just across the border from Fishtown. The sign on the front door reads: “IF YOU’RE NOT PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN, DO NOT BOTHER TO COME IN.”

The sign doesn’t say “If you’re not an American, do not bother to come in” it simply states that if you’re not “proud” to be America, do not bother to come in.

Earlier this week, a passerby took notice of the door signage and posted it to a Facebook community group, where outrage ensued. One person joked that the bar must belong to Joey Vento, the late owner of Geno’s Steaks, who infamously and proudly displayed that “THIS IS AMERICA … SPEAK ENGLISH” sign at the iconic cheesesteak shop.

One young Fairmount woman who saw the image said she’d be sure to skip Old Philadelphia Bar — the locals simply call it Old Philly — because her boyfriend is an Indian man who has a beard.

“I would avoid going there,” she told me. “It’s usually fine. Sometimes, some places, it’s not fine. As is obvious from that sign.”

But the staff and regulars inside Old Philadelphia Bar don’t understand what all the fuss is about, and a bar manager told Philly Mag that, if anything, the addition of the sign has increased business.

“If you’re in this country, you should be proud to be an American,” one Old Philadelphia bartender told me.

“But what about people who are in this country who simply aren’t American?” I asked her. “How should they feel about a sign like that?”

She shrugged and said, “We love everybody here … Besides, a Spanish guy put it up for us.”

Some local residents are reportedly considering filing a complaint about the Old Philadelphia sign with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, the city’s civil rights agency. Of course, a complaint filed with the PCHR over the Geno’s sign resulted in a ruling that the sign was not discriminatory, and it remained displayed at Geno’s Steaks until 2016, five years after Joey Vento’s death. –Philly Mag


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