HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A day after a social media firestorm over a soldier’s patriotic display, the flag at Sergeant Brandon Weir’s condo continues to fly. The Stepping Stone Condominium management team say they continue to field what they call harassing calls and emails from all over the country.
Wednesday WHNT spoke with Sergeant Weir’s wife Lauren, whose parents own the condo, for the first time. Lauren says both she and her husband are willing to stand by their decision.
“Yes sir,” says Weir, “it’ll stay up no matter what.”
Lauren Wier says her parents who own the condo unit she and her husband live in sent a statement to property managers in support of the flag.
"They gave us the blessing to put up the flag and [they said] we were actually doing them a service for putting up the flag," Weir said.
Both Stepping Stone Condominium Association Board President Carol Coffey and property management team president Tim Brown say they have received threatening calls and emails since Tuesday morning. Lauren Weir says it was never her or her husband's intent for that to happen.
"We appreciate the support, the support has been fantastic," Weir says. "There are certain cases where I think it went a little too far. People are emailing them and calling them and threatening them which is not what we asked, that is something that happens with social media, though," Weir adds. "Their names and their numbers and their emails are public record, it's on the website so the fact they're getting those calls and those emails, I would like to apologize to them for that because that's not what we wanted out of this, we just want them to know that flag will stay up."
Harold Stogsdill was one of the half-a-dozen or so concerned patriot citizens who showed up on Stepping Stone Condo property Tuesday in support of the Weirs.
"It represents those who serve and continue to serve," Stogsdill said.
"It was only our intent to make the community aware of this fact," says Stogsdill. "We were by no means intent on getting into issues of property rights or the HOA being threatened or harassed.
Property management team president Tim Brown says the threats to condominium staff have become so virulent staff had to request local law enforcement protection and extra patrols in the area for safety.
Stepping Stone Condo association board president Carol Coffey issued a statement to WHNT News 19 that reads:
"First and foremost the Stepping Stone Condominium Association Board supports and follows every law of the State of Alabama and the Federal Government. Secondly, we follow our Bylaws. All of the Stepping Stone Condominium units are individually owned, but the outside of all of the condominiums belongs to every one of the 126 owners and is considered communal property. Because of that, we have bylaws disallowing anything to be put up, hung up, put out, sat out, to include a list of specifics. Our management team did their job by asking Mr. Weir, who is not even an owner, to remove the flag. He was not told he could not have a flag on his personal property, he was only asked to remove it from communal property. Several SSCA Board members work for the Department of Defense and support the war fighter and at least one of us had also served in the Middle East. Instead of going through proper channels, Mr. Weir first verbally abused our property manager and then posted the letter he received on several veteran's websites without giving the whole story. Members of the board and the property manager have received many phone calls and literally thousands of emails many of which included bodily threats and legal threats. Mr. Weir did not note on the websites, or to the press that the flag is not on his personal property, but communal property. Our manager's name and number has been posted and issued to people who are harassing and threatening him, and he was only doing his job.
The board is considering making an addendum to the bylaws which would allow a flag flown close to a front door with certain requirements to include Official Flag Etiquette, but it is only in the discussion phase and has not been acted on as of yet. Amending bylaws is a long procedure and to be applied there must be an election of all of the UNIT OWNERS, of which 2/3’s must vote and approve the change."
Lauren Weir says she and her husband refuse to back down but are apologetic for the threats made to condo staff and board members.
"I would like to apologize to Carol and others," she says, "because she didn't even post [the note] on the door. The fact that yesterday after the interview she said we should still take the flag down while this is pending--I don't agree with that whatsoever but besides that I have no issues with Carol," Weir concludes, "She's been a pretty good president and I do apologize for the threats she's getting."