The patriotism of Enterprise shined Friday after protests of Boulevard Apartments, an apartment complex owned by Sun Belt Management, ended with a formal apology by owner Rudy Beaver.
Beaver, a World War II veteran, was appalled to discover Friday that one of his apartment complexes threatened to evict a tenant for waving an American flag. After displaying his American flag for Veteran’s Day, Air Force disabled veteran Patrick Harmon was told by his landlord to remove the flag.
"I'm not taking my American flag down," Harmon said adamantly when he got the news from his landlord. "Do you want to put a disabled veteran and his family on the streets because of an American flag?"
As Harmon’s story spread, local and national news outlets began covering the story, including FoxNews, CBS News and the Associated Press. That’s when people from across the Fort Rucker area offered their support. Two days after the story broke, supporters announced a protest at the apartment complex on Friday and Saturday.
After hearing about the issue, Beaver sent a company representative from Albertville to discuss the issue with Harmon.
“We had a productive conversation,” Harmon said. “He doesn’t even know how to say he’s sorry, but he is sorry. He said I can fly my flag.”
“He can fly 10 American flags if he wants. I’ll buy them for him,” Beaver said. “As far as the company policy goes, anyone can fly an American flag that wants to. He will have my sincerest apology.”
Beaver spoke with Harmon by phone Friday to apologize and told The Southeast Sun he wants to meet his fellow veteran in person to discuss the military and get to know one another.
“What he has done with is life is something else. He’s quite a guy,” Beaver said of Harmon.
More information on the issue will be available in Wednesday’s issue of The Southeast Sun.