A Reston couple says they couldn't believe it when they got an email asking them to take a small American flag off their mailbox.
"I almost thought it was a joke," said Stan Corey, a veteran who lives in the house with his wife Jayme.
But upon closer examination, the Coreys realized it was no joke.
"It's a small flag. We didn't think it was offensive in any way," Jayme said.
"It's not going anywhere," added Stan. "I'm a Navy veteran and believe very strongly in our flag."
The letter was sent by the Great Falls Crossing Community Association.
"We noticed that the following needs to be completed to keep your unit within community standards," the e-mail read. It then went on to list two things: trimming overgrowth and removing the flag.
Some of the letter was written in poor English. The final sentence says, "We thank you in advance for working with the Associations Board of Directors and Management Agent in make the community a more harmonist one."
ABC7 found another small American flag flying on another mailbox just a few houses away from the Coreys in Great Falls Crossing.
Bill Konrad, who is an Air Force veteran, owns that home. He says he hasn't received a letter, but if he does, he won't listen to it either.
"We live in the United States of America," he said. "That's our flag. We should fly it if we want to. Any day."
ABC7 contacted the Fairfax-based management company that sent the letter to the Coreys. A representative said her company was only doing what Great Falls Crossing’s Board of Directors asked it to do. She adds a board member agreed on all the violations letters had been sent out for.
ABC7 then contacted the president of the board, who emailed us to say that sending the notice about the flag had been a mistake. He said he is sending an apology to the Coreys, and the notice is being rescinded. He went on to write:
“Our community is made of all nationalities and I for one respect that and am glad to see folks who are genuinely hanging their flag out in pride of our United States.”