Realty company tells business owner American flag isn't allowed

The business owner said hanging the flag is her way to honor American service members and her family heritage

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - For eight years business owner Bobette Gonzalez has placed American flags outside her furniture store at I-10 near Wilcrest in west Houston. It's been her way to honor American service members and her family heritage.

"My father was in the military," said Gonzalez. "My brother is in the military, my grandfather was in the military and I just want to show respect to our troops."

But Gonzalez says the realty company that owns the property, has told her to stop putting up the flags -- saying they weren't allowed. It started with a series of emails sent earlier this summer. Gonzalez read one of them to us.

"It was brought to our attention that there are American flags outside that belong to you. Please remove them and do not put anything back."

Gonzalez says when she defied the order and put out the flags anyway, the realty company had someone try to remove them without her knowledge. People including fellow business owners Local 2 spoke to say they can't understand.

"I think anybody telling you you can't your flag out is not right and I would stand behind her," said Jarrett Crump, who owns a hobby store next door to Gonzalez.

"I think it's pretty messed up since we are in America," adds Houston resident Dezarae Bittetoe. "She pays to have her business and she wants to show her love for America."

"As far as I'm concerned I like to see the American flag fly," said John Hyman. "I don't see why it would cause any problem. So I'm supporting her."

As Gonzalez continues her battle with the property owner she says the fight won't be focused on her -- but the troops she's trying to honor.

"While I'm here safe and can live the American dream and have a small business they're fighting for our lives."

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