Date: May 25, 2010
Byline: Marcie Kobriger
Army Vet's Family Threatened with Eviction for Displaying Flag
An Army veteran and his wife are told they need to take down an American flag displayed in their apartment window.
Managers at an Oshkosh apartment complex are even threatening to evict them over what the couple says is a simple patriotic display.
Charlie Price is a proud veteran. "It was a decision that I kind of got influenced by both my grandfathers; they both served."
He's also a newlywed.
On Veterans day last year, his wife Dawn wanted to show Charlie how proud she is of his service.
"I took some of his old medals, he had framed little coins, found his enlistment picture, and I set everything up in the kitchen so he could look at that every day and be proud," Dawn Price said.
That's when this American flag went up in their window. This Stars and Stripes has become a staple in their home.
But last Friday, they got a call from management at Brookside Apartments demanding they take it down.
"I had 24 hours to remove the flag, and if it was not down in 24 hours we would receive our five-day eviction notice," Dawn said.
The management company for Brookside, Midwest Realty Management Inc., did not return our phone calls Tuesday. They did release a statement, "This policy was developed to insure we are fair to everyone.... We apologize if our intentions are perceived as being unpatriotic but that is not the case." (Read the company's complete statement below.)
The flag was still hanging in the Prices' window Tuesday, even after they were served an eviction notice Monday.
They say they will take it down before their five days are up, but they're hoping to get the policy changed for good.
"We're going to fight this the right way. I made a bunch of phone calls Monday," Dawn Price said. "I talked to state senator's office, I talked to Congressman offices, I even called to the building inspector of Oshkosh."
She has sought legal advice and understands the managers have a right to take the flag down.
"This isn't something that should happen to anyone else. It was a big blow to us when we heard this, and I couldn't imagine anyone else going through this," she said.
"That's what we fought for. That's what we wore on our shoulder," Charlie Price said.
Statement from Midwest Realty Management, Inc.
Our company (Midwest Realty Management) was founded by a gentleman who served in the Korean War and World War II. The current President of the company was a Navy pilot from 1973 — 1979. Midwest's Construction Supervisor is also a Navy Veteran. We fly United States flags at all of our properties and we have the utmost respect for all who have served our country in the armed forces. In fact, the subject apartment community has four United States Flags flying throughout the property. Our request to take down the flag displayed in the window has nothing to do with our patriotism.
Our policies do not allow any type of flags, banners or political or religious material to be displayed in the windows of the apartments. This policy was developed to insure that we are fair to everyone as we have many residents from diverse backgrounds. 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.
We apologize if our intentions are perceived as being unpatriotic, but that is simply not the case. Our only intentional is to provide a comfortable and consistent living environment for all residents.
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