Grandmother faces eviction over U.S. flag display

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KGW) -- Elodia Royce has always displayed our nation's flag in support of her family members and friends serving in the military.

"They fought for our freedoms and this is a freedom I should have," said Royce.

Last week she got a notice from her landlord that the flag in her window must come down or she could be evicted.

"It says, 'All colored drapes need to be removed from the windows.' But our flag is not a drape," she said.

Royce said her apartment manager actually approved the flag the day she moved in the the Happy Valley complex nearly six years ago.

"I asked if I could put it out on a pole and she said no... but when I asked if I could hang it in my window, she told me OK," said Royce.

Flags are not mentioned in the lease agreement Royce showed KGW.

Troy Pickard is an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law. He cited an Oregon statute that appears to point in Royce's favor.

"It says when a tenant is breaking some kind of rule and the landlord knows about it, but keeps accepting rent for three rental periods, then the landlord gives up the right to terminate that tenancy because of that rule violation," said Pickard.

Royce has been displaying the flag for much longer than that three-month timespan; the flag has been in the window for almost six years.

The grandmother of nine said she's a quiet person who hates conflict, but she's not backing down. Her daughter and grandson also live in the same apartment complex.

"I did tell my daughter I may have to move and my grandson started crying. Then my daughter said, 'If you have to move, we will move too,'" said Royce.

The notice says her flag must come down by Monday or she may face possible eviction.

Our sister station KGW Newschannel 8 left messages with Royce's landlord, Cascade Rental Management, but have not heard back from them.

For tenants like Royce facing possible legal issues, Oregon does have a statewide tenant's rights organization.

The Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants has a free renters rights hot line. The number is 503-288-0130


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