A Cherokee Antique Row business owner says she and others in the area are being harassed for displaying flags supporting police on their storefronts.
Cherri Elder owns Elder’s Antiques, a family owned and operated business that has been open for 32 years.
“You just know everybody,” said Elder.
She’s formed relationships with the police that patrol the area and wanted to offer her support by displaying an American flag with a thin blue line in front of her store. However, the flag wasn’t accepted by everyone in the area.
“People came by, they would cuss at you, harass you,” she said, “They would harass the customers.”
She eventually took the flag down to avoid any more confrontations.
“I thought things were getting better,” said Elder, “but apparently it’s not.”
A month later she found a handwritten letter posted on the front window of her shop that read: “Pig supporters not welcome. Flag goes down or you go down.”
On the right corner, there was a symbol most commonly connected with the Communist Party and the letters MLM, which often stand for Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, related to a communist political philosophy that builds upon Marxism.
“I don’t know who’s behind all of this,” said Elder.
Just a few doors down, a window at Delmay Ltd. Antiques is now boarded up after the owner caught three teenage boys on surveillance video kicking the window in before running off. The owner of Delmay also had a flag hanging on her storefront with a thin blue line, but it was stolen.
She doesn’t know if the incidents are related but feels like she too is being targeted.
“My friends, my business are all being targeted,” said Elder.
Elder doesn’t think she’ll be placing the flag back up but isn’t letting the message intimidate her.
“It needs to stop before someone gets hurt,” she said.
She hopes police will be able to catch the people responsible for the messages.
“I want it to come back to some kind of normalcy where people have respect for each other,” she said.