Love of wife prompts man to take down KKK flag

By Peter Burke, Managing Editor, pburke@local10.com
Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Mar 06 2014 01:14:43 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 07 2014 09:00:32 AM EST

A controversial KKK flag flying in one west Boca Raton man's yard comes down

BOCA RATON, Fla. -

A west Boca Raton man who hoisted a Ku Klux Klan flag in his yard has replaced it with an American flag.

The man who only identified himself as Mr. Hayes did not come outside Thursday morning, but one of his tenants said it was love that ultimately persuaded him to take down the controversial flag.

"He did it out of respect for his wife," a woman who identified herself as C.J. told Local 10's Roger Lohse. "He loves his wife."

She said his wife did not want him to display the KKK flag.

The move caps a tumultuous week in the mobile home community as Hayes' exhibition of free speech became a black-and-white issue.

Hayes prompted the passionate debate by coupling his flag with a members wanted sign and hanging a noose in his yard. Hayes told Local 10 that he was only trying to protect the diminishing white race and not trying to incite a riot.

"We don't go around committing hate crimes," Hayes said earlier this week.

C.J. said Hayes has received "non-stop threats" since sharing his views.

"People have been threatening to burn down the house and everything else," she said.

Margaret Martin, who is black, said she was concerned that Hayes was putting the future of her neighborhood at risk.

"The sign is gone, the flag is gone and I'm happy," Martin said.

But Hayes' neighbor said Hayes is not an actual KKK member and is not authorized to recruit new members.

Neighbors said Hayes is entitled to his opinions, but in the future they would prefer it if he keeps them to himself.

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