Wisconsin Veteran Ordered to Take Down Flag
Fox News is making a national case out of Charlie Price being told by his apartment management that he can’t fly an American flag in his window.
An Army veteran in Wisconsin will be allowed to display an American flag until Memorial Day, but the symbol honoring his service in Iraq and Kosovo must come down next Tuesday, his wife told FoxNews.com.
Dawn Price, 27, of Oshkosh, Wis., said she received a call from officials at Midwest Realty Management early Wednesday indicating that she and her husband, Charlie, would be allowed to continue flying the American flag they’ve had in their window for months through the holiday weekend. The couple had previously been told they had to remove the flag by Saturday or face eviction due to a company policy that bans the display of flags, banners and political or religious materials.
Dawn Price said she now works to amend the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which states no “condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association” may stop someone from flying the American flag. The law, however, does not apply to renters.
“This has been eating at us since Friday,” she said. ‘The best way to fight this isn’t getting an eviction and going after these people in court. That’s just going to cost us a lot of time, energy and money.” Instead, Dawn Price said she either intends to place a curtain between the flag and the apartment window to block it from onlookers or will move it to a rear balcony come next week. “We don’t want to fight the eviction,” she said. “We know we’d lose.”
Officials at Midwest Realty Management, which manages Brookside Apartments, where the Prices live, did not return several messages seeking comment. In a statement to the Oshkosh Northwestern, company officials said the policy was established to provide a consistent living environment for all residents. “This policy was developed to insure that we are fair to everyone as we have many residents from diverse backgrounds,” the statement read. “By having a blanket policy of neutrality we have found that we are less likely to offend anyone and the aesthetic qualities of our apartment communities are maintained.”
Despite the brief reprieve, Dawn Price said her husband is disappointed by the flag flap. “He actually sees it as a slap in the face to his service,” she said. “He’s pretty upset about it, especially right around Memorial Day.”
Not surprisingly, people are rallying around Price and condemning the apartment managers.
But here’s the thing. The American flag is indeed a venerated symbol by most everyone in this country and, indeed, many around the world. But, if Midwest Reality allowed the display of giant flags in people’s windows, they’d have to allow pretty much any other form of expression. Rather than deal with the possibility of controversy, then, they have issued a blanket policy.
Don’t like it? Don’t rent there.
Further, it’s hard to see how Price is being harmed here. He can fly the flag anywhere he wants in his apartment except right by the window. So, if this is about his love of country, it’s no problem. If it’s about the ability to make a political statement . . .