Artist paints mural for veterans outside American Legion

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Veterans got an early surprise Tuesday just a day before America's birthday.

A Staten Island-based artist created a mural for veterans outside the American Legion Sixth Memorial Post on Fifth Avenue.

The same post received backlash last month when the New York City Department of Transportation asked them to remove a bench painted like the American flag. The DOT asked it to be removed for blocking the sidewalk, but then realized it wasn't.

Scott LoBaido heard about the backlash from the bench and felt obligated to make a grand gesture for the veterans.

"This is for you--but it's also kind of in your face," LoBaido said. "You were offended by this small flag, now you got to see this huge flag."

Some residents say it's a great way to represent the country so close to Independence Day.

"The flag as a symbol is still great," said Peter Darnell, of Park Slope. "I think people have a right to do with it what they want, whatever they want, that's what makes America great."

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