Just months after returning from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, U.S. Army National Guard veteran Tyler Barge was embroiled in another fight defending the American flag. This time, it involves the management of his Salem, Va. apartment complex.
A small American flag, displayed in a cup of dirt on his patio wall, is a violation of the building’s code, he was told.
Barge received a notice informing him he must remove the flag, along with a few other items – a broom and table, for instance – deemed inappropriate.
“We need your help to keep our community one of the best in Salem,” the notice read, giving Barge several days to remove the offending items. A list inexcusably included a veteran’s American flag.
“I like to keep a flag on display in honor of those who have died fighting for our freedom,” he said in an interview. He went on to say he “saw the flag flying in Afghanistan; it’d be nice to see it flying here, too.”
While I understand the necessity of apartment complex codes designed to maintain a clutter-free exterior, it is almost unfathomable a small flag would be seen as anything but an affirmation of one’s honor for his or her country.
Unfortunately, today’s America includes individuals who seem to include catering to fringe groups and trashing traditional patriotism among the greatest of virtues.
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