It could be argued that it is fairly easy to mistake a Norwegian flag for a Confederate flag.
After all, there are over 80 flags that use the red, white and blue color scheme.
However, one Seattle Times news tip revealed that the current political climate can cause many people to jump to conclusions about their neighbors.
Rebecca Morris, an author of The New York Times best-seller true-crime books, contacted the news organization and expressed concern over a “Confederate flag” that was hanging on a corner in her neighborhood.
Her news tip reportedly said: “Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N. I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you.”
When reporters drove to the corner, they found the misidentified flag hanging outside the house of Darold Norman Stangeland.
“That’s a Norwegian flag,” he said. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.”
The Norwegian flag has a red background with a white and blue cross off-center. Folded up, it could potentially be confused with the Confederate flag which has a red background and a white and blue “x” across the middle with stars on the inside.
At the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, Norway has so far won 13 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze medals.
“I’m a proud Norwegian-American,” Stangeland explained. “My parents emigrated here in the mid-1950s. He skippered tugboats.”
When Morris was told her mistake, she was surprised, saying that she had looked up the Confederate flag online and thought she properly identified it.
“Maybe that’s the story … we’re so stressed by all things political that we see things that aren’t there,” she told the Seattle Times.
This is surprisingly not the first time the two flags have been mixed up.
The Lewisboro Ledger wrote a story in 2012 about a woman who was reported for having a Norwegian flag on her property on Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
She was embarrassed because “Everyone in the county was asking me if I’m flying a rebel flag.”
“This is why this country is cooked,” she said. “We are so hyper-sensitive in this country to being offended by other people.”
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