Flag flap: Norwegian flag mistaken for Confederate banner

Norwegian flag mistaken for Confederate flag at bed and breakfast

ST. JOHNS, Mich. — The owners of a Michigan bed and breakfast inn were called racist when people mistakenly believed a Norwegian flag in front of the property was a Confederate flag. Now, the owners of The Nordic Pineapple believe they have come up with a solution they hope will end the confusion.

Greg and Kjersten Offenbecker own the inn, which is a large Civil War-era mansion in St. Johns, the Lansing State Journal reported. Since 2018, the couple have displayed the Norwegian flag, a nod to Kjersten Offenbecker’s heritage. The flag -- red with a blue cross superimposed on a white cross -- honors Kjersten Offenbecker’s grandfather, who was born in Norway, the newspaper reported.

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The couple, parents to two Black children, have been accused of being racist, the State Journal reported. They said they have received emails and have been confronted by people who believed they were displaying the Stars and Bars.

The Offenbeckers removed the flag last month, but the story went viral and the couple said they received an outpouring of support.

“It was something we didn’t expect,” Kjersten Offenbecker told the newspaper. “It’s just amazing how far-reaching this story was.”

The flag will be replaced by a vimple, which is a long, pennant-shaped flag, according to The Associated Press.

“When you look at it, it has the feel of the Norwegian flag,” Kjersten Offenbecker told the State Journal. “I’m sure we’ll get a lot of questions about what it is but no one will ever make a judgment about it that’s incorrect.”