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Wisconsin couple gets reprieve on eviction for Pride flag then sees flag torn down

Kevin Kollmann and Merle Malterer found their flag, the center of their issues with their landlord, torn down tonight. (Photo from Merle Malterer)
This Pride flag has been the center of an eviction threat for Kevin Kollmann and Merle Malterer. (Photo from Merle Malterer)

OAK CREEK, Wisc. — A Wisconsin couple has had an eventful week since receiving a letter evicting them for flying a Pride flag at their home in a apartment complex. They’ve gone from possible eviction to being told they can stay to their Pride flag being torn down.

Kevin Kollmann and Merle Malterer got a letter on Wednesday, March 27, telling them they were evicted for violating the lease flying a Pride flag in front of their apartment. They had been asked to take down a Green Bay Packers flag because it was advertising a few weeks before, which they did. They thought that since a Pride flag wasn’t advertising, it should be fine. Then they got the letter. 

Kollmann went through the complex and saw several other flags still flying on neighbors’ homes. They asked the leasing office while a friend offered to contact someone they knew at a local TV station. On Thursday, Malterer said, they were on the FOX6 evening news. Then they really got attention.

Their situation got covered by NBC, CBS, Out magazine, the Advocate, the Daily Mail in Great Britain and more. They even found out from a Spanish television station that people in Madrid were flying Pride flags in solidarity. 

As they were getting ready to take a letter to the complex management office, the office sent them a letter. They were no longer being evicted, their flag was now grandfathered in and okay to fly and asking the couple to help develop a new policy. 

“They actually apologized,” Kollmann said.

The story is still continuing. When Malterer got home on Wednesday, the flag and mount had been torn down and left in the yard. While talking with the Eagle, they were on their way to Menard’s to get a new mounth. “The police have the old pole to check for fingerprints,” Malterer said. They do think it was torn down because of the intense attention the issue has gotten.

The neighbors, on the other hand, have been supportive. “My neighbors have been fantastic,” Malterer said. They were the ones who had noticed it had been torn down.

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