Greeley resident Samuel Adams put an American flag up on his apartment complex balcony, then the apartment manager ordered him to take it down.
The incident didn’t sit well with Adams, whose father and grandfather served in the Armed Forces, and he vented his frustrations in an online video that’s since gone viral, the Greeley Tribune reports.
In the video, posted to Facebook and YouTube, Adams identified himself as a resident of Sterling Heights Apartment complex in Greeley, Colorado, and explained that he decorated his balcony in anticipation of the July 4 holiday.
“Today is June 22, and as you may know we are approaching the July 4 holiday, which I am prepared for,” Adams said.
“However, today when I came home I received this letter from the management of Sterling Heights Apartments,” he said before reading the letter from his balcony, which is still adorned with Old Glory.
The letter states that “it has come to management’s attention that you have an American flag on the balcony/patio area” in violation of a signed “Community Policies” agreement.
The letter quotes the policies, which specifically state that “the use of balconies and patios for the purpose of storage and/or laundry drying is prohibited. Breezeways are not to be used as a patio or storage. Please do not clutter with personal belongings. Balconies and patios must be maintained in a neat, clean and attractive condition. Outdoor and/or patio furniture is welcomed on your patio or balcony only. Gasoline and other hazardous materials are not to be stored in your apartment or storage area. Retain from having dead plants, boxes or garbage on balcony/patios at any time.”
Apartment manager Pamela Buchanan told the Tribune in an email that “Sterling Heights seeks to be fair to residents by limiting displays as there could be signs, flags or decorations that may be offensive and disruptive to the community.”
The apartment complex’s senior regional manager, Amie Robertshaw, told the Tribune other residents were also cited for balcony violations. The complex will allow flag displays for Independence Day, but that’s it, she said.
“We really try hard to keep a nice, neat community and are diligent about our efforts to keep uniformity in appearance in the areas visible to others,” Robertshaw wrote in an email.
The letter to Adams encouraged him to contact Buchanan or the apartment office with questions or concerns.
“This will serve, Sterling Heights, as my contact …” Adams said in the video. “Thank you, America, I look forward to your feedback.”
Adams told the Tribune he has no plans to take the flag down.
“I thought it was just going to be a whisper but it has avalanched,” he said. “I’m the kind of guy that when I see a man or woman in uniform, I go up to them and say, ‘thank you for your service.’ I gladly accept the responsibility given to me of standing up for the veterans and families that have reached out to me.”
The Facebook video has been shared more than 1,500 times and generated a lot of comments, according to the Tribune.
Folks posted mixed reactions to Adams’ video on YouTube.
“You are improperly displaying the flag. When hung against a wall it needs to unfurl stripes down,” Ernie Fingerblatz wrote. “Ignore the apartment letter and forward it to an attorney. Sue their ass for infringing on your right to freedom of expression of national pride.”
“Get your own house/property and do with it as you like,” graftonreed posted. “The apartment owners are just that … the owners.”
“This is America? Is that the flag of our country? What’s wrong with people?” bluenite5 added.
“Stay the course, and simply tell management to f*** off,” JD Webb added. “It’s that simple.”