TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A business owner is taking the city to federal court after he received a $118 citation for his display during the annual Veterans Day Boat Parade.

“Our first amendment rights have just been walked on when they say you can’t have a sign that supports the Veterans on Veterans Day,” Dave Duvernay said during his first TV interview since filing the lawsuit in the U.S. Middle District of Florida in Tampa. “That just doesn’t make any sense.”

DuVernay told 8 On Your Side he doesn’t plan to pay the fine, unless the court tells him he must.

“It’s just a day to let them know how much we appreciate their services,” Dave DuVernay, the owner of an advertising business, said of why he wanted to be in the parade.

DuVernay said he went before the City of Treasure Island commission to ask for permission to display his boat sign on an electronic billboard because he had been cited for an ordinance violation before. But city officials denied his request.

“We were kind of between a rock and a hard spot,” DuVernay said.

DuVernay said he still decided to display the sign saying “Thank You Veterans” and “God Bless America” during the parade because of support form the community and veterans.

8 On Your Side requested an on-camera interview with Treasure Island City Manager Garry Brumback, but he declined. In an email, he said DuVernay violated the ordinance in question on at least two other occasions.

“He went before the Commission and was denied,” Brumback wrote in an email. “The violation had nothing to do with the content of the message but the sign itself.”

The language of the ordinance in question states:

“Posting of advertising prohibited, exception. No person shall post or display any sign, banner or advertisement unless licensed so to do by the city commission as a concessionaire or a licensee under a written concession or license agreement or lease.”

DuVernay told 8 On Your Side his Veterans Day display wasn’t the largest nor the best in the parade.

“If the rules applied evenly to everybody than all 53 boats in the parade would have gotten a ticket that day,” he said.

Brumback had no comment for 8 On Your Side about the pending litigation.