Family Receives Hate Mail for Displaying 'Offensive' VE Day Union Flags
Patriotic family blasted as 'disgusting' and 'tasteless' for marking WWII 75th anniversary
A patriotic British family has been targetted with hate mail after they displayed VE Day commemorative flags outside their home to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Nicola and Mark Slater are hitting back after receiving a poison pen letter that slammed their family as "disgusting" for displaying VE Day Union flags - which were branded as "offensive" and "tasteless."
The Slaters received an anonymous letter after decorating their home in Lawley, Shropshire.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, they added bunting and flags - with one that states "Lest We Forget" to remember those who gave their lives to protect the rest of us from tyranny.
"The flags are tasteless, oversized, disgusting and you are bringing the area down," the note reads.
The couple says the letter left them "gobsmacked" (speechless) when they received it Thursday - just a day before VE Day.
In response, outraged residents threw their support behind the Slaters and decked out their own homes with red, white, and blue decorations, according to The Daily Mail.
Mother-of-two Nicola, 50, who runs a travel company, said: "My husband is very patriotic.
"On Saint George's Day, he gets suited up, puts on a red rose with hundreds of mates, who put flags up on their houses too.
"We used to live in South Yardley in Birmingham and carried on when we moved here to Lawley seven years ago.
"We also put a flag up when England are playing in the World Cup. For VE Day we put up one with poppies and soldiers on.
"On Thursday morning I came down at half six and my husband showed me the letter.
"This person had actually pushed it through the letterbox.
"I was gobsmacked when I read it - really shocked.
"I just couldn't believe someone could write that.
"It was not one of our close neighbors because the letter suggests they do not know if we rent or own the place.
"It is not someone who knows us well but does live round here. I found it so offensive."
She added: "How dare he slander my family and how we raise our children, and question whether we are renting the property when like everyone else here we're owners.
"My 12-year-old daughter asked what this was all about.
"I said it's about remembering people who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.
"By slandering us it is almost slandering them.
"We are a very patriotic family and because we are close to RAF Cosford we have lots of military neighbors who will be doing the same as us.
"Three of them will be putting on their uniforms for the day.
"The letter says we are apparently bringing the village down and it's disgusting to read that.
"But the support we have got from the whole village has been amazing.
"People have been saying they'll put flags up and it has been going ape on social media."
The letter was signed from "Local Lawley Residents" and was dated April 24 - but was hand-delivered on Thursday.
It said: "Several residents have raised concerns with the offensive nature of the flags which you have put up in a well respected area.
"This is due disregard for your neighbours, the community and locality.
"If you have a need to express yourself, we suggest this be done with a more discreet flag and one of which is not such an eye sore and depreciates the area.
"We have made a formal complaint to Telford and Wrekin Council and we will escalate and take this further.
"The flags are tasteless, oversized, disgusting and you are bringing the area down.
"We have paid several of thousands of pounds to live in this area, if you are renting, it explains your actions.
"If you own this house, it is shocking why you would do.
"This is not the first occasion where these flags have been raised - this was apparent during the world cup.
"We request with immediate effect these flags to be taken down - we will take this further."
Mark, 45, who works in a chocolate packing factory, said: "When I read the letter I was deflated.
"I love my country and always put a flag out for Saint George's Day.
"I thought flags and bunting for VE Day would give people a lift and we could have a beer while chatting across the road.
"I felt disappointed and had questions about whether to live here anymore.
"But the amount of support we have had and people knocking on the door saying they're going to put their flags up has made up for it.
"An ex-soldier left me a note with his number and we've been messaging.
"We said he was grateful we have been supportive of him.
"It has been a surreal day and the whole community has embraced it.
"What the letter said has spurred us on and galvanized the community."
He added: "Some people have been coming up to the house and others beeping their horns as they go past. It has been fantastic.
"I don't know the person who wrote the letter and I don't care.
"Hopefully, now they realize they were wrong to criticize us and respect those people who gave their lives for our freedom."