Navy vet told: Take U.S. flag down or face eviction

Navy vet told: Take U.S. flag down or face eviction »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Take the flag down and follow the rules - or you will be evicted.

That was the message sent to Edward Zivica in a letter he received from his apartment management company, St. Vincent de Paul, on Oct. 27.

Zivica, a Navy veteran, said he's been hanging his American Flag outside in a common area of his Aster Apartment complex for at least a year on special holiday's like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

"They said nothing about it and so I figured, well, maybe they understand now that I'm only putting it up on special days," said Zivica.

But when he hung it up on Oct. 27 for Navy Day, his landlord took it down and served him with an eviction notice.

"The notice was for hanging something outside the building without permission," said St. Vincent de Paul CEO Terry McDonald.

McDonald said they've tried to work with Zivica and other vets in the building, even putting up a lit flag pole outside the building.

"We want to honor our country and honor our tenants, so we put up the pole," said McDonald. "It was requested by the tenants to leave it up for a permanent presence, which we did."

McDonald said they even asked the tenants if they'd like to manage it, but they declined.

Zivica said the pole doesn't have a pulley system to get the flag up and down, so it's permanently left up. He said he started getting frustrated because you can't lower the flag to half staff, so instead he went back to hanging his flag on the building.

"I'm not doing something so terrible," he said.

But McDonald said rules are rules, and Zivica is in clear violation of them.

"Landlord tenant law is very specific. If you're going to live in a situation where there's lots of other tenants, you need to follow the rules that are set up," McDonald said.

According to the notice of termination of his lease, Zivica has until midnight on Nov. 29 to move out - or to agree to follow the rules.

UPDATE: The landlord and tenant reached an agreement