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City of West Allis removes American flags, residents upset

WEST ALLIS, WI (CBS 58) – Residents in a West Allis neighborhood are upset after their American flags were removed from their trees.

West Bennett near 72nd street was once lined with American flags on the trees closest to the street . Now only one American flag remains on a tree and neighbors say they believe it’s because that property sits on the Milwaukee side and not West Allis.

“I just thought it would look good between the Fourth of July and Labor Day,” says Bonnie Heise, who lives on Bennett Avenue.

Heise has lived in the area for four years and has liked showing her patriotic side. This year she thought she would line her street with American flags by placing them in the trees.

“People saw what I was doing and as I got further down the block people were kind enough to donate money,” explains Heise.

Heise says she walked out Monday afternoon to find city workers removing all 16 flags, nails, and brackets.

“It’s our neighborhood,” says Heise. “It’s our block. We weren’t disturbing anything”.

However, according to a city ordinance, hanging signs, banners, and even flags on structures is not allowed.

“We were just putting them up to honor our veterans,” says Gilbert Castillo who also lives on Bennett Avenue. “It was very rude of the city. They could have given us a notice or something”.

But according to the ordinance, the city does not have to give a notice before removing anything in violation.

But neighbors say they’re not giving up.

“Then we contact the Aldermen, the Mayor, the Councilmen,” says Heise.

Heise says she plans on meeting with other neighbors to discuss having the ordinance reconsidered.


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