A Danish family flying the American flag in their garden was asked by the police to remove it or pay a fine following several complaints by neighbors who complained they felt “provoked” by it. The family told local media that they like American culture and feel confused that complaints were filed with law enforcement.
The Hedegard family from the town of Kolding had an American flag on a flagpole in their garden for about a month until the police knocked on their door and asked them to lower it. If they refused they would have to pay a $347 fine. Technically you need special authorization to fly a foreign flag in Denmark, and apparently the family didn’t have it.
“We feel we are a part of an American culture in Denmark,” Rikke Hedegård told Jydske Vestkysten newspaper. “I could understand if it was a Nazi or an ISIS flag. But an American flag — I don’t understand that at all,” she said.
The police reportedly received several complaints about the flag from the neighbors and passers by who were upset by the Stars and Stripes.
The family told the local newspaper that they feel disappointed that the neighbors didn’t talk to them face to face. “My thoughts are that if someone was so offended, why didn’t they stop by and mention it? We go outside almost every day, so just stop by and listen to our story,” Rikke said. The family said that they didn’t intend to offend anyone.
According to a hundred year old law in Denmark it is illegal to fly other countries’ national flags unless approved by the authorities and on condition that the Danish flag is hoisted next to the foreign flag. Exceptions are made, however, for the flags of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, the EU, and the UN.