Seattle Author Mistakes Norwegian Flag for Confederate Flag

Norwegian Flag
Kjell Jøran Hansen/Flickr

A Seattle author sent a news tip into the Seattle Times asking why someone was displaying a Confederate flag in her neighborhood — except the flag was not a Confederate flag.

True crime author Rebecca Morris emailed Seattle Times reporter Erik Lactis, asking what the presence of the flag “means” for the neighborhood, and she suggested he write a story about it.

“Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N. I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you,” Morris wrote in an email this week.

When Lactis drove to the corner where the flagpole stood, however, he did not find a Confederate flag.

An American flag flew on top of the flagpole, while a red flag with blue stripes flew below it — but not the kind displaying the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy.

“That’s a Norwegian flag. It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics,” said Darold Norman Stangeland, who lives at the corner house.

The Norwegian flag contains a red background and a blue cross with a white outline positioned slightly to the left of the flag.

Once Lactis discovered what the flag was, he told Morris that she had been mistaken in her assessment of the flag.

“Are you kidding me?” Morris replied, adding that she researched the Confederate flag online and was sure it matched the flag on the corner.

Upon looking at the flag again, Morris backtracked on her previous statement, saying that the flag does look like Norway’s flag.

“Well, it does look like the Norwegian flag!” she said. “Maybe that’s the story … we’re so stressed by all things political that we see things that aren’t there.”

This is not the first time the Norwegian flag has been mistaken for the Confederate flag in America.

In 2012, the Lewisboro Ledger of New York reported a story about a woman living on the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation who was reported to her reservation’s office because residents thought she displayed a Confederate flag on her property. Her flag was actually a small Norwegian flag.

“It was embarrassing. Everyone in the county was asking me if I’m flying a rebel flag,” she told the paper.

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