VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WAVY) — Two neighbors are at odds with one another over a symbol of our nation’s freedom.
The feud centers around the proper procedure for displaying an American flag after sunset. Court documents filed in a Virginia Beach court, show Michael Anderson has filed three criminal charges against his neighbor, John Parmele. They both live on Yawl Point in the Laurel Cove neighborhood off of North Great Neck Road.
Anderson alleges Parmele stole his American flag on two occasions. This after he did not comply with demands to illuminate the flag flying from his mailbox after sunset, according to court documents.
Federal code says American flags should be “be properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.” It’s a rule that Parmele knows can’t be enforced, but should not be broken.
“I feel like it’s a personal affront towards me and disrespect toward the veterans and all Americans for that matter, because it’s just not supposed to be done,” said Parmele.
Parmele does not admit, nor deny, involvement in the theft. He says he will plead not guilty at the start of the trial, which starts May 16.
“I think I’m representing veterans everywhere in this incident,” said Parmele. “Now that people know about it, they should respect it. If people don’t know about it, they are going to keep doing this.”
Anderson did not answer the door on Wednesday. Calls from 10 On Your Side also went unanswered.
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