A 75-year-old New Jersey woman is facing eviction for flying American flags on her apartment balcony.
Dawn Paulus has been around the block, so she’s lived long enough to know what is important to her. And for her, honoring the veterans who have fought for the US is one of those things, “I thank the veterans, they fought for us and this is why we have our freedom. My ex-husband was in service, brothers, nephews, cousins — to me this is a big thing.”
So, when Memorial Day rolled around, she did what millions of other Americans did: she flew the stars and stripes from her home, a 6th floor apartment that’s less than a mile away from the Phillipsburg town’s Civil War Memorial. Paulus argues, “I feel I have a constitutional right to fly a flag.”
Phillipsburg Housing Authority doesn’t agree. Shortly after flying the flag Paulus received a letter warning her to take down the flags or face eviction. Paul Rummerfield, executive director of the housing authority, says, “We’re not anti-American. It’s just a lease provision that says nothing can be on the balconies.” Even though he’s being strict, Rummerfield isn’t enthusiastic about enforcing the policy, “I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want my legacy to be I kicked anyone out over a flag.”
Rosa Parks Dawn Paulus isn’t about to roll over and submit. She says that she’d rather face eviction than take them down, adding, “I’ll put my things in storage and hang my hat wherever.”
Paulus will have 30 days to comply after the eviction notice is served, and then the issue will be resolved in court