Bay City man sparks controversy by hanging insensitive flag - WNEM TV 5

Bay City man sparks controversy by hanging insensitive flag

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A Bay City man is stirring controversy in his neighborhood after hanging flags that many find racially insensitive in the window of his home and now his neighbors are speaking out.

Kyra Bernie says she's lived in Bay City for nearly 20 years and never has she been so offended by one her neighbors. "The flags have got to go" said Bernie.

Bernie is talking about a confederate flag hanging in her neighbor's front window for everyone to see. The worst part, she says, is the confederate flag recently replaced a flag with a swastika on it.

"Just imagine how Jewish people would feel if they seen this flag. It's not right" Bernie continued.

Darold Newton is with the NAACP branch in Bay City. Newton says he's seen both flags in the window and was horrified. "I was driving by one day last week and saw it and I thought, Wow" said Newton.

Newton admits flying the flag is protected under the first amendment. Little can be done to get the neighbor to remove it. But he says he's still shocked that someone would put it in their window in such a diverse community.

"I really don't understand, but we don't know his intention unless we ask. That's why we wanted to approach him" said Newton.

WNEM wanted to find out why the resident may be flying these flags? Neighbors say that he's lived there for a couple of years. TV5 was also told he almost got into a fight with a neighbor complaining about these flags.

When TV5 visited the home, hoping to get some answers, no one was home.

In the end, neighbors, like Kyra Bernie, say the flag needs to go. They say it's offensive and just plain racist.

Leaders with the Bay City Public Safety Department say they haven't received any complaints about the flags.

WNEM wants to know if you think the flags should be removed from the window. Post your comments on the WNEM Facebook page.

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