A couple who owns a bed and breakfast business in Michigan has revealed they were forced to remove the flag of their native country from the premises because guests and visitors kept mistaking it for a Confederate flag.
As Greg and Kjersten Offenbecker explained, they run a B&B called The Nordic Pineapple Bed & Breakfast in St. John, Michigan.
In a tribute to their native country, the couple hoisted a Norwegian flag alongside an American flag at the entrance of the renovated Civil War-era mansion.
Due to the Norwegian flag’s resemblance to the Confederate flag, however, the couple has been facing backlash, negative comments, and threatening calls.
“I don’t see it because I grew up with the Norwegian flag. To me, they are two distinct flags,” Kjersten said of the alleged resemblance between the two flags in an interview with the Lansing State Journal.
Following a series of confrontations, the couple, who was falsely accused of bigotry, decided to remove the Norwegian flag from the premises of their business.
“We started to have this concern that it was deterring people away from coming to our bed and breakfast. That people would see it and make this judgment,” Offenbencker told WILX.
As Kjersten explained, her husband argued they shouldn’t remove the Norwegian flag just because some people don’t recognize the difference between it and the Confederate flag. To avoid further abuse, however, Kjersten put her foot down and decided to get rid of the flag.
“I was done. I’ve had enough. I’m tired with people mistaking us for [bigots],” she expressed.
According to the couple, who have adopted two black children, they have been greatly offended by negative comments suggesting they are racist.
Fortunately, however, they have also received a lot of support and several requests to re-hoist the Norwegian flag from the local community.
“As we continue to pour over the comments of support and encouragement, we have been faced with a new decision about whether or not to re-hang our beloved flags. Just as we struggled with the decision to remove them, we struggle with the decision to put them back up,” the couple wrote in their Facebook post.
As they also suggested, they are looking for a way to let the Norwegian flag fly without getting mistaken for a Confederate flag.
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