Bozeman, MT – A United States Air Force veteran defended his right to fly the American flag outside his residence on Tuesday afternoon, after he says an anonymous neighbor left a threatening note on his front door (video below).
“Man, I don’t even know where to start,” Justin Schroeder, 36, said in a Facebook Live video. “I’ve met some stupid people in my lifetime, but this takes the cake.”
As he sat on the front porch of his home, Schroeder explained that he had just returned from running errands to find an anonymous letter taped to his front door.
“Dear neighbor,” he read aloud from the note. “I am disgusted you would fly this symbol of hate.”
Schroeder then panned the camera towards an American flag waving in the breeze on the front of his home.
“Judging by the trucks in your driveway, I can only assume you voted for Trump,” he continued reading, before he showed viewers the vehicles parked nearby.
“This is a disgusting house, and Bozeman deserves better,” Schroeder read, before interjecting a quick response.
“You’re right – it does. Pack your s--t and leave,” he commented.
The anonymous note-writer then issued a threat.
“If not taken down by tonight, I will take it down myself,” Schroeder read from the letter. “This is not a fight you want. We will win. Sincerely, your neighbor.”
Schroeder crumpled up the message and dropped the note to the ground before he issued his response.
“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 vowed.
Schroeder then walked out into the street and noted that he had just come to realize that he was the only person on his street who chose to fly an American flag outside their home.
Schroeder said he was “mind blown” that some “dips--t" would the “f--king audacity” to come onto his property to issue such a threat.
“I just don’t get it,” he said, shaking his head. “This flag is a symbol of freedom.”
He noted that just a few days prior, people were lighting off fireworks in celebration of Independence Day.
“This flag flies year-round at my house,” Schroeder said. “It will never come down.”
“And to the person that thinks they’re gonna try to take it down?” he added. “I’ll break your f--king fingers.”
The military veteran’s video had over 700,000 views and had been shared over 19,000 times as of Thursday afternoon.
“It’s been unreal the amount of support I’ve gotten from people,” Schroeder told Blue Lives Matter on Wednesday.
A stranger came to his house to drop off a new American flag, just in case the “neighbor” decided to make good on his threat to steal his, he said in amazement.
That second flag now hangs in a front window of his home.
Others offered to come “camp” outside his residence to protect him and the flag, and many people urged him to turn the matter over to police for his own safety.
“There’s no reason to bother the police,” Schroeder, whose father retired from the U.S. Border Patrol after 33 years of service, told Blue Lives Matter. “They’ve got bigger things to deal with.”
In addition to the positive feedback, Schroeder said he has also received a notable number of “death threats” and negative comments.
“It doesn’t phase me,” he said dismissively. “Somebody got triggered… If I was that person, I’d be hiding under a rock right now.”
He said he did make a couple of adjustments in the wake of the letter.
“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,” Schroeder told Blue Lives Matter.
He has also installed some hidden security cameras, but nothing suspicious has shown up on them so far.
“Feel free to have your freedom of speech, but this crosses the line,” Schroeder said of the incident. “The American flag, to me, is a symbol of love. And I love my country.”
You can watch Schroeder's viral response below: