A resident in West Mifflin drew criticism from some neighbors last week when he hung a Nazi flag from his home on Bluff Street, according to TribLIVE.
The flag, which displayed a large swastika, was taken down after several neighbors complained, reported CBS Pittsburgh. After removing the flag, the flag owner “allegedly called West Mifflin Borough to apologize for any upset the flag may have caused,” the report noted.
“There were complaints from some of the citizens that they felt it was an offensive flag,” West Mifflin Mayor Chris Kelly told CBS Pittsburgh. “I explained to them it was within his constitutional right to freedom of expression or however he wants to do it. We don’t litigate wisdom or stupidity, anger or hatred. That’s individual beliefs.”
A confederate flag, which has been on the property for some time, continues to fly in front of the home.
“When the Nazi flag and the Confederate flag are flown, they send a distinct message to the Jewish community and to other minority communities that their presence is not welcome in that neighborhood,” said Josh Sayles, director of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. “Brad Orsini, our director of community security, has been monitoring the situation and working closely with the West Mifflin Police Department to make sure that the situation doesn’t escalate, while also being mindful of First Amendment rights.”
Although the man displaying the flags has said publicly that he’s not racist, Sayles continued, “It’s unclear to me how else his actions could be interpreted. It’s a shame that this is taking place in Pittsburgh’s backyard. There is no place for such hate in our community.” PJC
Toby Tabachnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.