A man who flew Nazi and Confederate flags on his property now feels threatened following public backlash.
Many Southbridge, Mass., residents learned about the flag, at the home of army veteran Paul Gibeault, 57, from a Facebook photo. “This is going on in my neighborhood. Un-f***ing-believable,” Paul Harvard, 49, wrote in his Monday post, publishing Gibeault’s home address and phone number.
“This guy’s neighbor is Jewish — you’d think that as a veteran, he would understand the significance of hate symbols,” Harvard, who served in the Army National Guard, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
However, Gibeault told Boston television station WHGH, “This was just to wake people up a little bit and people are taking it out of context — it could be taken as a religious symbol. Germany was a good country in the beginning.”
Gibeault continued, “I’m not supporting Hitler. But this country will become like Nazi Germany if we keep traveling down this road we’re on...We’re becoming so saturated with immigrants that this country is in danger of collapsing and China will take over.”
On Monday evening, the swastika was replaced by the rebel flag, a symbol of the Confederacy. Harvard says it “represents the ownership of people and white supremacy.”
Harvard notes people who abhor the symbols have also pointed out that publishing Gibeault’s personal information is wrong. “I am not concerned with this man’s privacy,” Harvard says. “I’m concerned with letting neighbors know we have a potential Nazi on our street.”
Gilbeault did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment, but a Facebook account under his name stated that he loves President Trump and “... My next flag will be a salute to the gays.”
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach Southbridge Police Chief Shane Woodson for comment. While legal, he told WHGH, the flag is “inappropriate” and “offensive.”
Gilbeault told the local news station that he feels threatened by the exposure online. “I have asked that people not harass him or get violent,” Harvard tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “He has a right to fly the flag and I have a right to call him out.”
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