WILMINGTON, N.C. -- One North Carolina family said they received a hate-filled letter threatening their lives.
It happened in New Hanover County in August.
Jessica Zambrano and her husband Gustavo are US citizens. Jessica was born in the US; Gustavo is from Mexico but is now a US citizen.
To celebrate their heritage, the Zambranos flew an American and Mexican flag outside their home.
"It's nothing against the United States; we have an American flag too," Jessica said to WWAY. "We are proud of both parts, and it's just a representation of who our family is."
But that representation evidently offended someone. The Zambranos received an anonymous letter in the mail demanding they take down the Mexican flag.
The letter read, "When mother (expletive) like you fly your piece of (expletive) Mexican flag, that means war. The 2nd Amendment gives the (sic) right AND DUTY (with guns) to rid my country of people like you and your family. TAKE THE (expletive) FLAG DOWN! OR FEEL MY WRATH."
"When I first got it, to be honest, I was pretty scared," Jessica said. "I would say for probably the first week or so I was constantly looking behind my shoulder and out the window, and worried.
She called the police, but then she reached out on her neighborhood's Facebook group. She hoped that whoever sent it might see her post and realize their note was misguided.
What her neighbors did, reassured Jessica in the exceptionalism of Americans.
"I just felt like I wanted to reach out to this person, and the support that I got from my neighborhood was overwhelming," she said. "Every person reached out, brought flowers, brought balloons, came and prayed with us, came and let us know how much they cared about us."
Her neighbors then put up Mexican flags of their own, to stand in solidarity with the Zambranos.
"I was hurt for Jessica and Gustavo and their family, and I was also really disappointed at the thought that someone thought it was an acceptable thing to do, to decide to spread this hatred," Jannefer Fiordimalva said.
Zambrano hopes her story can bring others together as it has for her neighborhood.
New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating the letter and has called in the FBI since the case would likely be classified as a hate crime.
'Feel my wrath': Racist letter threatens North Carolina family who flew Mexican flag outside their home
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