The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is claiming that a memo distributed to some public housing residents announcing a ban on public displays of the American flag was a mistake that is “being corrected.”
“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 common areas is not permitted,” said the memo, which was posted on residents’ doors in the Garden Lane public housing complex.
The original notice used Housing Authority letterhead.
The notice, posted Wednesday, did provide that visible flags could be displayed within a resident’s home.
According to Jason Lefferts, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the notice was was a mistake.
“We were not aware of this decision when it was made, and it was a mistake that is being corrected immediately,” Lefferts wrote in a statement emailed to The Daily Caller. “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.”
Housing Authority executive director Nancy Siegel told TheDC that she did not know why the ban was put in place but confirmed that the edict came to them from Department of Housing and Community Development.
“I don’t know the reasoning,” Siegel told TheDC. “We were instructed from our governing agency.”
Prior to the Thursday morning correction, Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown blasted the decision to prohibit public displays of the American flag.
“Our flag stands for freedom, and is a symbol of the sacrifice made by our servicemen and women to protect the liberties we enjoy today,” Brown said in a statement. “Flying the American flag should never be controversial, and no citizen should ever be prevented from doing so. I was deeply disturbed to learn of this misguided decision, and I call on the responsible authorities to undo this regulation immediately.”