Justin Schroeder, 36, had returned home after running errands only to find a note at his front door. “Man, I don’t even know where to start,” he said in the Facebook Live video. “I’ve met some stupid people in my lifetime, but this takes the cake.”
He then read the note: “Dear neighbor, I am disgusted you would fly this symbol of hate.”
Schroeder panned his camera towards the American flag at the front of his home.
“Judging by the trucks in your driveway, I can only assume you voted for Trump,” he read, and then showed viewers the vehicles parked in the area.
“This is a disgusting house, and Bozeman deserves better,” Schroeder read, then quickly responded: “You’re right – it does. Pack your s–t and leave.”
The letter continued: “If not taken down by tonight, I will take it down myself. This is not a fight you want. We will win. Sincerely, your neighbor.”
Schroeder crumpled the note and threw it on the ground. He then replied; “I’ve met some stupid f–king people in my lifetime, but I can tell you right now, that flag right there? That flag ain’t comin’ down.”
He walked out on the street, and told viewers that he just realized that he was the only person on his street flying an American flag outside the house.
He stated, “I just don’t get it. This flag is a symbol of freedom.”
“This flag flies year-round at my house,” he said. “It will never come down.”
He added, “And to the person that thinks they’re gonna try to take it down? I’ll break your f–king fingers.”
The video amassed over 700,000 views and 19,000 shares.
Speaking to Blue Lives Matter, Schroeder said, “It’s been unreal the amount of support I’ve gotten from people,” and that a stranger drove to his home and gave him a new flag just in case the neighbor stole the other one.
A few people offered to camp outside Schroeder’s home to protect him and the flag, while others urged him to report the matter to police.
He replied: “There’s no reason to bother the police. They’ve got bigger things to deal with.”
He admitted that he had received a number of death threats and negative comments: “It doesn’t phase me. Somebody got triggered… If I was that person, I’d be hiding under a rock right now,” he said dismissively.
He told Blue Lives Matter; “The solution is pretty simple. I just moved the flag 10 feet higher. Somebody’s going to notice some guy walking down the street with a ladder.”
He also installed hidden security cameras, but there have been no suspicious actions recorded so far.
“Feel free to have your freedom of speech, but this crosses the line. The American flag, to me, is a symbol of love. And I love my country,” Schroeder said.