Greg and Kjersten Offbecker moved into a historic mansion in the town of Saint Johns two years ago and converted it into a bed and breakfast, now known as Nordic Pineapple. Offbecker said that the banner is a reference to her Norwegian heritage.
Unfortunately, it struck the wrong note with passersby, due to its similarity with another flag.
The flag of Norway, as can be seen in the feature image of this article, features a cross, a reference to Christianity, as do the flags of all Scandinavian countries. A blue horizontal bar bisects a blue vertical bar atop a white and read field.
The color scheme and presence of two blue bars bisecting each other is featured in a banner colloquially referred to as the “Confederate flag.” Though it was never the official flag of the Confederacy, and indeed, most Confederate soldiers likely would have never seen it, the Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag has since come to be called the “Confederate flag.”
The similarities between the two banners end at the similar color scheme and the presence of bisecting blue bars, however.
It seems that the nuances of vexillology were lost on some, as the couple received multiple complaints about the banner that adorned their business.
“What we’re getting is so much more negative now. It’s not just, ‘hey you’re flying the Confederate flag.’ It’s, ‘you should be ashamed to fly the Confederate flag. You’re a bigot because you fly the Confederate flag.'”
Offbecker said that there’s even a rumor going around that the building itself was built by Confederate leaders. It was not.
However, out of concern that the controversy could hurt their bottom line, the couple decided to retire the ode to Norway.
“We started to have this concern that it was deterring people away from coming to our bed and breakfast. That they would see it and make this judgement,” she said.
Meanwhile, the so-called Confederate flag is disappearing from areas where it was once prominent, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, which have shined a light on racism in areas of life outside of just policing.
NASCAR has banned fans from bringing it to its events and, as reported by The Inquisitr, Mississippi recently retired the imagery from its own flag, with a view toward replacing it with the words “In God We Trust” in some way or another.