A Colorado man is refusing to remove an American flag from his apartment balcony despite a request from his building manager to take it down.
Samuel Adams of Greeley, Colorado hung an American flag from his apartment balcony last week in preparation for Independence Day. However, a short time later, Adams received a letter from Sterling Heights apartment complex, asking him to take down the flag.
The letter stated that the flag was in violation of community policy, which prevents balconies from being “clutter(ed) with personal belongings.”
The full letter from Sterling Heights is listed below.
Please be advised that it has come to management’s attention that you have an American flag on the balcony/patio area. Your signed Community Policies states, ‘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.’ We appreciate your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact myself or the office. Thank you.”
Adams responded by posting a video of him reading the video reading the letter while continuing to fly the flag.
“I have never done anything like this before,” Adams told the Greeley Tribune. “But it was the right time and it was the right moment. I wanted to be a patriotic American and give tribute to our founding fathers and our veterans, and to have (management) say the flag is inappropriate or comparable to trash is reprehensible to me.”
Adams also said he will continue to fly the flag, even if he eventually faces eviction.
According to the Pamela Buchanan, the complex’s community manager, the rule was enforced to promote fairness among all tenants.
“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,” she told the Tribune in an email.
Senior Regional Manager Amie Robertshaw also added that residents of the apartment will be allowed to fly their flags on July 4, but after that date they will be asked to move their flags inside to adhere to the apartment’s policy of fairness and consistency.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.