Neighbors fret about divisive flag


Dear Amy: We’ve been living next door to a very good neighbor for almost 30 years. “Charles” is helpful and friendly, and we genuinely like him.

His political views are 180 degrees different than ours.

Until now, it hasn’t been an issue, as we have plenty of other things to discuss (gardening, family, etc.), and we have kept our views to ourselves.

The problem is that he has hung a large flag (replacing the worn-out original with a new and even bolder model) a few feet from our backyard fence. This flag contains a message representing ideals which are abhorrent to us.

No profanity — just divisive and hurtful implications. I don’t think it’s an intentional attack on us or anything like that.

We cannot avoid seeing and hearing it flapping in the wind any time we’re in our yard. It extends to about 10 feet from the ground, so it can’t be blocked from view. (No other neighbors can see it.)

Visitors to our home have commented: “What do you think about that flag?” “I could get rid of that for you — haha,” etc.

My husband and I don’t want to lose Charles’ friendship or ruin what has been a good relationship for years.

But this is very upsetting to me — a constant reminder of the ugly divisions in our country.

I find myself avoiding my own yard (and feeling bad toward my neighbor).

What’s your advice?


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