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American Flag Ban at MA Public Housing Complex Enrages Tenants (Updated)

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"If somebody wants to come and take the flag down, I’ll take pictures."

WRENTHAM, Mass. (The Blaze/AP) -- Residents of a Massachusetts public housing complex are outraged that the town's housing agency has banned the display of U.S. flags outside their homes.

The Wrentham Housing Authority notified residents of the policy through a letter taped to their doors Wednesday.

The unsigned letter says the move was made after a tenant complained to the state Department of Housing and Community Development over the Fourth of July holiday.

Barbara Marshall kept a U.S. flag flying outside Wednesday even after the letter was delivered and tells The Sun Chronicle she has no intention of removing it.

"I’ve always had a flag. I'm very upset," she told the Chronicle, at moments speaking through tears. "All my family is so indebted to the veterans, to that flag."

"If somebody wants to come and take the flag down, I’ll take pictures. Somebody’s got to help," Marshall added.

The 82-year-old Marshall, whose brother took part in the D-Day invasion of France, says she was so upset about the letter she had to lie down.

Update: CBS Boston reports that the state is now claiming that the ban was "a mistake":

Housing Authority executive director Nancy Siegel told WBZ-TV they received the order from the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

Their spokesman, Jason Lefferts, issued this statement late Thursday morning:

“We were not aware of this decision when it was made, and it was a mistake that is being corrected immediately. Department of Housing and Community Development policy for local housing authorities includes not allowing displays of private materials in public areas. This does not extend to respectful and safe displays of the American flag.”

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