Pittsfield man puts swastikas, Confederate flags on his front porch

  • Nazi flags that were hanging outside a Chestnut Street home in Pittsfield recently were replaced with a variety of American flags, a New Hampshire flag and a sign that reads “WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS” by Wednesday afternoon. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Multiple flags are displayed outside a Chestnut Street home in Pittsfield on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Screenshot of video of Nazi placards outside of a Pittsfield home on Chestnut Street. Courtesy—

  • Screenshot of video of Nazi placards outside of a Pittsfield home on Chestnut Street. Courtesy—

Monitor staff
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Pittsfield man arrested last month for allegedly hitting a woman with a metal bat is now getting the neighborhood’s attention for hanging Confederate flags and Nazi paraphernalia outside his Chestnut Street home.

Guy Hanson, 57, was charged with criminal threatening, reckless conduct and three counts of simple assault last month, according to Pittsfield police.

In recent weeks, local police have been deluged with calls about placards depicting the Nazi flag and Confederate flags hanging from the porch of the red brick house.

Pittsfield police Sgt. Joseph McCormack said there’s very little police can do, since even hateful speech is constitutionally protected.

“It’s on his property,” he said.

The department also frequently gets noise complaints about loud music coming from the residence, he said, which police can enforce when it violates the town’s noise ordinance.

“I think one time I went there in the morning, and it was Ozzy Osbourne,” McCormack said.

It’s unclear when the Nazi and Confederate flags went up, but they had been replaced by American flags, the New Hampshire flag, and a banner reading “WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS” by Wednesday afternoon.

Nobody answered the door when a reporter knocked.

Neighbor Judy Rowe, 69, said she first saw the swastikas on Father’s Day.

“My father was Jewish,” she said. “I was livid.”

Hanson frequently gets into shouting matches with those who try and talk to him about his decorations, Rowe said, and it worries the neighborhood.

“People are scared of him,” she said.

In the assault case, a witness said Hanson stalked the victim down the street outside his home “with an iron pipe, slamming it on the pavement, and screaming he could kill her,” according to court documents cited in a Concord Patch article.

It’s not the first time flags have stirred controversy in town. An ISIS flag was found hanging on a fence at the Suncook River dam earlier this month.

Pittsfield police Chief Jeffrey Cain said at the time that the person who was believed to have hung the ISIS flag at the dam was known to police, but that charges wouldn’t be filed.

(Lola Duffort can
be reached at 369-3321
or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)