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Frustrated B&B Owners Take Down 'Confederate' Flag

It was actually a Norwegian flag flying outside a Michigan inn
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 8:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not so outlandish that a bed-and-breakfast named the Nordic Pineapple would fly a Norwegian flag at its front entrance. But a Michigan B&B has found out that vexillology isn't a strong point for locals, dozens of whom have mistaken the flag for a Confederate version. The inn finally took the flag down, WILX reports. The B&B is located in a Civil War-era mansion in St. Johns, and when Greg and Kjersten Offbecker bought it two years ago, they decided to honor Kjersten's Scandinavian background—her grandfather was born in Norway—by using a Nordic-inspired name and hanging the Norwegian flag right next to the American one, per the Lansing State Journal. But after a fresh round of "hateful" emails and phone calls last week about their "Confederate" flag, the Offbeckers removed it.

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Frustrating the couple is that the flags are completely different, save for the colors: The Norwegian flag has no stars, as the Confederate one does, and sports a cross, not the Confederate flag's trademark "X." "It bugs me as far as the stupidity of people," says Greg Offbecker, a Navy vet who served in Desert Storm, per the New York Post. "They look nothing alike." Bugging them even more is the fact that they're being accused of being racist, especially because two of their children are Black. The couple finally made the decision that keeping the flag up just wasn't worth it. "We started to have this concern that it was deterring people away from coming to our bed-and-breakfast," Kjersten Offbecker tells WILX. "That they would see it and make this judgment." They're now trying to find a place to display the flag that won't cause so much commotion. (Read more Confederate flag stories.)

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