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 banning a display of flags 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.

Monica Araujo July 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I saw this on my friend's FB page... I don't even live in MA and I thought this was such a crazy story!
karon de sanno July 12, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Since when is the flag offensive? If someone finds the flag to be offensive - maybe they need to find another country to live in!
Dee Sumnick July 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
You are living in "Public Housing" paid for in full or in part by the taxpayers, and a "anonymous" tenent is "uncomfortable" looking at the American Flag displayed by other residents during the Independence Day holiday. Please move to Cuba,and save the taxpayers money.
Buck Farack July 12, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Someone in MA Housing needs to lose their job over this.
RAL July 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM
This is happening in condo developments right in Harford County!


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