The banner of the king of Scots depicts a lion rampant, red on a gold background. In heraldic terms, that lion represents bravery, valor, strength and royalty.

But as it has fluttered on a pole outside the Scottish Bakehouse on State Road in Vineyard Haven over the past week or so, it has represented something else: frustration with town bureaucracy.

It flies there because bakehouse owner Daniele Dominick, has been told she is not allowed to fly the red, white and blue flag which used to be there, and carried the single-word message: “Open.”

The edict came from Tisbury building and zoning inspector Kenneth Barwick, who told Ms. Dominick it is against town bylaws for a business to fly a big flag saying “Open.” It is permissible, however, to fly an equally large national flag.

The distinction, the bylaw, and Mr. Barwick’s enforcement of it, all seem silly to Ms. Dominick, who believes her trade is being damaged by officiousness.

“Apparently, the flag exceeds my allowable square footage for advertising,” she explained.

“He said I have three square feet. I believe it’s eight or nine [square feet] in the business district but I am in a residential district. I am grandfathered in as a commercial property, so I wonder why that doesn’t give me more square footage.”

It is not, she points out, as though the flag is obtrusive, or a hazard to anyone, which is the reason the town has rules governing signs. It impedes no sidewalk, because there is no sidewalk at the bakehouse, which sits by the rural roadside in an area of town where Vineyard Haven quickly melts into West Tisbury. Indeed, there is no other business for a mile or more in either direction.

“I’m in the middle of nowhere. People who live here know we’re here, but the tourists won’t. People come past at 40 miles an hour. Unless you see the word ‘Open,’ you’ll go past wondering ‘Oh, what was that?’

“It’s all a bit annoying. It’s ridiculous,” she said.

Ridiculous to her maybe, but Mr. Barwick is serious about the issue of commercial signs. Two weeks ago, he flagged (pardon the expression) the issue with the board of selectmen. It is slated for discussion at tonight’s meeting of the board.

The main concern is sandwich boards, those self-supporting, folding signs which some stores put up on sidewalks outside their premises.

Some are appearing around the business district, even though the town has historically not allowed them.

The reasoning behind that is pretty clear, said selectman Jeff Kristal: They impede the flow of pedestrians on narrow sidewalks. They can be a hazard if the wind kicks up. There could be liability issues if, for example, a kid got a finger caught in one.

A quick drive around downtown Vineyard Haven yesterday recorded just one prominently-placed sandwich board, and it was out there by the guardians of pubic safety. It sits out in front of the town fire station, warning people never to park there.

“I know Ken has always told people to put the sign on the building, and there’s not a problem,” said Mr. Kristal.

Exactly why flags were a concern was a mystery to him, however.

Mr. Barwick was on leave this week, and unavailable for comment about why he wants the selectmen to review the relevant bylaw.

But in previewing the matter two weeks ago, he said he would address the distinction between advertising flags and national flags.

Whether the selectmen will support him is to be determined.

“Personally I have no problem with flags, but no doubt we’ll learn more about it on Tuesday,” said Mr. Kristal.