A case of mistaken identity has caused the owners of a Michigan bed and breakfast to remove a Norwegian flag from the front of the inn after dozens of people confused the flag with a Confederate flag, a report said.
When Greg and Kjersten Offbecker moved into the historic mansion in St. Johns years ago and turned it into a bed and breakfast called Nordic Pineapple, they installed the flag as a decoration and hung an American flag next to it, WLIX reported.
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However, dozens of guests and people driving by the inn have wrongly accused the couple of flying a Confederate flag.
“They are the same color, but there are no stars on the Norwegian flag, and the Confederate flag is a big ‘x’ and the Norwegian flag is part of the Nordic countries, they’re all crosses,” Kjersten Offbecker said.
Last week, the couple decided to remove the flag as part of a new marketing campaign, the report said.
“We started to have this concern that it was deterring people away from coming to our bed and breakfast,” Offbecker said. “That they would see it and make this judgment.”
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Offbecker said the flag was hung as a way for her to represent her heritage, but with the confusion, she took it down because it was not worth the frustration, the television station reported. She said they have received cruel emails and phone calls over the confusion of the flag.
“What we’re getting is so much more negative now,” she said. “It’s not just, ‘hey you’re flying the Confederate flag.’ It’s, ‘you should be ashamed to fly the Confederate flag. You’re a bigot because you fly the Confederate flag.’”
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Some people are even convinced the home was built by Confederate leaders, the report said. In fact, it was built by union workers for the daughter of the Saint Johns founder.
The couple still wants to fly the Norwegian flag and is trying to find a new way to accomplish that without getting complaints.