BANGOR (AP) – A Vietnam veteran says it’s downright un-American that he was asked to take down a U.S. flag that was hanging outside his Bangor Housing Authority apartment.

But rules are rules, an official said.

Arthur Brazeau, 61, got a letter from his landlord telling him to take down the U.S. flag – along with U.S. Army, POW-MIA and state of Maine flags – that were hanging from his porch on a handmade wooden bracket that was attached to the railing.

“I was very upset,” Brazeau said. “I immediately got on the phone and called the woman in charge and said, ‘What’s this? Are we becoming a communist nation and taking away all our rights?”‘

Brazeau removed his flag display over the weekend rather than pay a $50 fine, but he wasn’t happy about it.

Bangor Housing Authority Executive Director Elsie Coffee said rules prohibit a number of things at housing authority properties, including basketball hoops, fire pits, garden hoses and attached flags.

“We’ve got to stick to the policy,” Coffey said. “It’s tough, but if we stay with one set of standards it’s fair to all.”

Coffey said she’s not against anybody displaying a U.S. flag, and that several residents have small flags that comply with the rules.

“If somebody wants to put a flag on a pole on their patio, I would be more than happy for them to do it,” Coffey said. “Rest assured, we’re not telling him he cannot fly his flag.”

Brazeau on Monday tied a large U.S. flag to his porch railing in an attempt to get around the rules.

“I don’t know what they’re going to say about that,” Brazeau said. “But it’s our constitutional right to fly the flag.”

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