Residents in Southbridge, Massachusetts, are shocked and disgusted after they say one of their neighbors put up a Nazi flag this week.
The flag was flying outside a property on Guelphwood Road. Neighbors said seeing it so soon after commemorating the anniversary of D-Day made it even more offensive.
"My grandfather fought in World War II," Brian Harvard said. "It bothers me a lot to think about what he would say if he were alive to see that."
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Harvard and other neighbors criticized the flag on social media and demanded it be taken down. Their posts with pictures of it received hundreds of comments.
On Thursday, the Nazi flag was gone and had been replaced with a Confederate flag, featuring the phrase, "Don't Tread on Me."
Residents said the new flag is not much better.
"I think they both stand for something that shouldn't be tolerated," Harvard said.
NBC10 Boston's calls to the homeowner were not returned. "No Trespassing" signs are posted on the property.
Neighbors said the owner has tried to explain his side to some of them. They said he claims he is a veteran who loves America, and only put up the Nazi flag to make a statement about the country's values being in danger.
Town officials have received calls, but said there is not much they can do because the flags are flying on private property.
Residents said they understand the homeowner has a right to free speech, but they will not tolerate signs of hate.
"What we need to see in this country is more unity instead of all of this divisiveness," Ramon Pelaez said.