A United States Air Force veteran named Justin Schroeder recently came home to find a rather curious note taped to his front door. One of his neighbors had written a ranting letter demanding that the 36-year-old veteran remove the American flag from in front of his door. Schroeder, who has encountered his share of hate and resistance due to his love of country before, was befuddled at the notion that someone could be so incensed at the sight of the American flag, that most patriotic of American symbols. Schroeder took to Facebook live to read the letter and express his confusion at the author’s sentiment. He had already served what he felt was his patriotic duty by serving in the Air Force, and he was not about to forsake all of that by bowing to the pressure placed on him by the author of the anonymous note taped to his door.
The author of the letter wrote such scathing, offensive lines as “judging by the trucks in your driveway, I can only assume you voted for Trump.” The letter writer was anonymous, though he seemed confident that the flag would indeed be taken down. “WE WILL WIN,” he ended the letter. As Schroeder read the letter aloud on Facebook, he remarked that the flag would not be going anywhere. Apparently, Schroeder was not the only one who felt such strong love for his country and for his flag. The video has since been viewed 700,000 times online, with fans offering to watch over his flag and suggesting that Schroeder get the authorities involved. Schroeder has refused to get the police involved in this dispute, even though he has actually received death threats online from people who evidently share the sentiments expressed in the anonymous letter. In response to recent events, Schroeder has moved the flag 10 feet higher and installed a security camera to watch over his property. The camera is hidden, in order to deter someone who shares the author’s sentiments from messing with or removing his flag. Exactly how this incident will play out remains to be seen, and it is unlikely now that the author of the anonymous note will make his identity public after the online backlash that the letter has sparked.
This incident highlights just how tense politics in America have recently become. After several tense elections and various social movements, many Americans are anxious about the state of their country. Claims of violated rights abound, and Schroeder is just the latest to feel as though he has been targeted for his beliefs and for his patriotism. It is necessary, in this kind of environment, that citizens watch out that the rights of others are not being violated.