For months, “cancel culture” mobs have been tearing down statues and removing monuments across the country.
Now, the married couple who own a bed and breakfast in St. Johns, Michigan, say their establishment came under attack because people mistakenly believed they were flying a Confederate flag outside of their inn.
The owners of the The Nordic Pineapple, Greg and Kjersten Offenbecker, were actually flying the Norwegian national flag. Nevertheless, because of the confusion — and the harassment they say they received due to the flag — the couple finally decided to take it down.
Both the name of the inn and the flag flying out front were meant to honor the legacy of Kjersten’s family. (Her grandfather was born in Norway.)
The couple received “at least a dozen hateful emails” regarding the flag and twice as many comments, Kjersten Offenbecker told the Lansing State Journal for a story published July 27.
“It bugs me as far as the stupidity of people,” Greg Offenbecker said. “Even if the flag is blowing in the wind or laying limp, there are no stars on it. They look nothing alike.”
Kjersten Offenbecker was deeply hurt by the latest hateful email the couple received.
“How could we be so bigoted and close minded, this person wrote, and I was really hurt because I feel like we’ve done a lot to integrate into this small community and be part of St. Johns,” she said.
In a July 20 Facebook post, The Nordic Pineapple announced that the flag was coming down:
“It is a sad day at The Nordic Pineapple. We have decided to no longer fly The Norwegian flag on the front of the inn. This flag is so often mistaken for the Confederate flag and people are often offended by it before they realize that they are mistaken,” the post read.
There may be hope that the flag will fly again soon, however.
In a subsequent Facebook post on Monday, the bed and breakfast owners shared their gratitude for the outpouring of support they had received and announced that the removal of the flag was never meant to be a “permanent solution.”
“The outpouring of support we have received has been overwhelming,” the post read. “We know that removing our flag has been seen by many to be giving into the hate and we know that hateful voices can be very loud, much louder than the kind, supportive ones. When you are on the receiving end of such hate it is very hard to hear those kind, supportive voices and can be very emotionally difficult.
“We never intended the removal of our flag to be a permanent solution, we were looking for a break and a way to display the flag in which it clearly shows that it represents the people of Norway and the values that we hold dear.”
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