“Take those flags down! A US Marine Defies Apartment Mgr Demand to Remove Flags
US Marine, Manny E. Vega III and his wife moved into their Fredericksburg apartment in October of 2013. He hung two flags vertically from the wooden beam on his balcony: the American flag and a United States Marine Corps flag. Now the apartment manager says he can’t fly those flags, and told him to take them down.
Manny is a highly decorated combat veteran, with 3 tours in Iraq. He states he has been an excellent tenant, and has always paid his rent on time. He keeps the place up, and he and his wife have never had any disturbances at the apartment.
Impound the flags?
He hung the flags by the grommets, on nails that were already in place on the beam when he moved in. It was akin to his neighbor’s method of hanging her wind chimes. The lease agreement says that nothing can be attached to the building. The only things allowed on the balconies are plants, holiday decorations, or patio decorations. No flag pole could be attached, no picture frames, etc. But the flags are not actually attached to the building.
It wasn’t until the manager happened to drive through the complex that the situation became known. She advised them to take down the flags. She tacked a letter to his apartment door, advising him to remove the flags immediately.
Two other persons tried to convince him to remove them, and they advised him that the apartment owners had the right to “impound” his flags. That probably wasn’t the smartest thing to say to a United States Marine.
“The flag is not a fashion statement to me or a fad. It is my right to fly the flags. No one has ever made me take them down. Nobody should tell a combat veteran that they can’t fly the flags. I fought for this country! Enough is enough. I will never give in. I will honor the flag, because it is my right, my choosing.”
Manny is hoping the situation will not escalate to the legal level. He is concerned that an eviction notice will be served over the incident- even though his rent is up to date. He says his wife is on his side in this situation.
The Salem Run Apartment manager advised him that she would bring it to the Grady Management Corporate headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland. He has not yet heard back from the company on their decision.
“Every day is Memorial day, every day is Veteran‘s day in my life. I will not take down the flags. I will not betray myself by taking them down. I will not back down.”