A North Carolina woman got into a heated argument with one of her neighbours after she pulled over to demand why he was flying a Nazi-themed flag on the front of his house.
Page Braswell, 44, was driving though Gaston County in North Carolina near the town of Mount Holly on Sunday when she spotted the flag, featuring prominent Nazi iconography and colours, hanging from the front of someone’s house.
“I thought, ‘What? This is my town,’ ” Braswell told the Charlotte Observer on why she decided to pull over.
What followed was a tense and heated exchange as the man, who identifies himself in the video as Joe Love, and Braswell got into an argument on the former’s driveway.
“Hey! What’s up with the Nazi flag?” Braswell is heard asking Love in the video.
“What’s that flag got to do with you?” Love fired back. “Do you make the payments on this f****** house?”
Love then seems to notice he’s being filmed, giving the camera the middle finger before continuing his line of questioning.
“Where do you live? What kind of flag do you fly?” Love asks.
“I fly a rainbow flag, thank you,” Braswell responds.
“So what does that tell me about you?” Love asks, prompting Braswell to reply that it means she’s “not a Nazi.”
“I’m not a Nazi either!” Love shouts. “This is Nazi f****** America!”
Page posted the video to her Facebook page on Sunday evening along with the man’s address, asking those in her local community to “run this Nazi out of town.”
The post quickly went viral, having been shared almost 10,000 times in the last 48 hours and accumulating nearly half a million views.
“Yes, he absolutely has the right to fly his Nazi flag on his property,” Braswell wrote in a follow-up post. “But when enough people stand up and make it unacceptable to do so, perhaps it will change.”
However, Love says his decision to hang the Swastika flag wasn’t in response to recent events in Charlottesville, Va. The college town was rocked over the weekend by violent clashes between white nationalists and hundreds of counter-protesters.
A federal civil rights investigation is now underway after a 20-year-old Ohio man allegedly rammed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and seriously injuring scores of others.
Federal and state authorities are also investigating after two Virginia State police troopers died when their helicopter crashed outside the city.
However, Love tells the Gaston Gazette that his Swastika flag has been flying since the start of the month and is unrelated to recent news events.
Love also denies the flag was meant to show a Nazi affiliation or sympathy on his part.
“That used to be a religious symbol in India until Hitler got a hold of it,” Love told the Gazette. “A lot of people don’t know that. I agree with the symbol as it started out as a religious symbol.”
“But as far as backing Hitler and being a white supremacist and Hitler…I’m not into that.”
As of Monday, Love had decided to remove the flag after being questioned by local media, replacing it with a Confederate battle flag.
While many commenters are questioning Braswell’s decision to confront Love on his own property, some are also defending Love’s right to display the flag on his own property under the First Amendment.
Unlike in Canada, there are no specific Hate Crime provisions in U.S. federal law that prevent the display of flags or symbols which may be viewed as offending towards a certain ethnic or racial group.
A spokesperson for the city of Mount Holly said the local government would not look into the incident or the flag, as Love’s home falls outside city limits.
However, Braswell is standing by her decision to initiate the impromptu confrontation – and the results it would eventually yield.
-With files from the Associated Press