UPDATE: State Housing Authority Calls Flag Ban "A Mistake"
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development has called the notice banning the display of flags a mistake.
A ban forbidding the display of the American flag at Garden Lane in Wrentham has been called a "mistake" by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
Updated 3:36 p.m-US Senator Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) issued a statement.
“Our flag stands for freedom, and is a symbol of sacrifice made by our servicemen and women to protect the liberties we enjoy today. Flying the American flag should never be controversial and no citizen should ever been prevented from doing so.”
Updated 11:29 a.m. - Speaking to WBZ, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development spokesman Jason Lefferts said that ban was a mistake and flags will be allowed to hang outside.
In his statement, Lefferts said "We were not aware of this decision when it was made, and it was a mistake that is being corrected immediately. Department of Housing and Community Development policy for local housing authorities includes not allowing displays of private materials in public areas. This does not extend to respectful and safe displays of the American flag.”
Update 9:50 a.m. - Wrentham Housing Authority Executive Director Nancy Siegel told Wrentham Patch that she was told to distribute the letter by the Department of Housing and Community Development after multiple complaints from one tenant. She was unaware of the complaint prior to distributing the letter.
What is usually seen as a symbol of pride and patriotism has apparently caused a controversy at Garden Lane.
At approximately 8:12 p.m. on July 11, a photograph of a letter allegedly from the Wrentham Housing Authority appeared on Twitter that told residents of Garden Lane that any public displays of the American Flag would not be allowed in common areas. According to the letter, the ban is due to the repeated complains of a tenant during the Fourth of July holiday to the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The department is an agency of the Department of Housing and Economic Development.
The letter goes on to say that the flags may be visible from inside an apartment but cannot be on the exterior part of the building.
The text of the letter goes as follows:
To: All Residents of Garden Lane
Due to a tenant's repeated complaints reported to the Department of Housing and Community Development over the July 4th holiday, Wrentham Housing Authority has been informed that the public display of the American Flag in the common areas is not permitted. As a result, all American flag displays must be restricted to the interior of your apartment. Flags may be visible through the apartment windows but may not be displayed on the exterior of the buildings or on the ground around the building.