Landlords tell residents to take down American flag


You'll be seeing a lot of American flags displayed in the coming weeks as we approach the Fourth of July.

It's your right to fly the flag at your home.

There's a law that says so, but if you live at an apartment complex, the rules might be a different story.

Hoosiers are being ordered to take down Old Glory at some area apartment complexes and it could cost them if they refuse.

"They can tear it down if they want, but I'll stand right behind that flag," Jordan Stein told Eyewitness News outside his Core Riverbend Apartment in Castleton.

Stein showed Eyewitness News a letter he received from management there, threatening to fine him $75 if he didn't take down Old Glory from his balcony.

"Who would find anything wrong with the American flag?" asked Stein in disgust.

Apparently, management there did have a problem. Stein showed Eyewitness News a copy of his lease, which said nothing could be hung or draped from the balcony.

"It's not an obscene gesture, you know? It's not like a swastika hanging on my window or a marijuana plant or something. It's the American flag," said Stein.

Eyewitness News asked Core Riverbend Management for a comment, but they wouldn't give us one and said their corporate office had no comment either.

"It is who we are as Americans. This is what our countrymen have fought and died for," Stein said, gesturing to his flag.

The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 states no "condominium association, cooperative association or residential real estate management association" can stop someone from flying the American flag.

The law, though, doesn't apply to renters.

"Because I'm a renter, I'm not surrendering any civil liberties," said Aaron Pullen.

Pullen showed Eyewitness News the American flag he just hung up at The Masters Apartments after he said his neighbor got a similar letter to the one Stein got, asking him to remove the flag.

"I went out and fought for it, bled for it and watched others do the same. I'm not about to have somebody tell me I can't put it up," Pullen said defiantly.

Officials at the apartment complex said they're not against the American flag or unpatriotic, in fact, you can see the Stars and Stripes flying high right outside the leasing office.

An attorney representing The Masters Apartments told Eyewitness News he would research the law and if there was a mistake, it would be rectified.

Down the street at Core Riverbend Apartments, Stein said the apartment's policy is a violation of his rights, plain and simple.

"Me as an American, you know, I can't even express my right to be that who I am," said Stein.

Eyewitness News talked to the ACLU. A lawyer there told us in a private housing complex, the First Amendment does not apply.

Join the conversation about this story on our Facebook page