Display of the Flag
January 8, 2016
While the American flag has long been a symbol of the hope, strength, courage, faith, patriotism and freedom of the American people, homeowners associations have been busy denouncing their nation’s flag coast-to-coast.
In 2006, President George W. Bush signed The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 into law.
The law was enacted to ensure that the right to display an American flag on residential property would not be abridged, leaving room for reasonable policies regarding the time, place and manner of the flag display to be implemented by homeowners associations.
But while the law seemed clear, a large gray area has emerged, and this gray area is exactly what homeowners associations have been taking advantage of in their attack on the American flag.
In fact, from Murray, Utah to Chester County, Pennsylvania, homeowners have been busy battling their homeowners associations for the right to display their American flags.
On one occasion, a homeowners association told multiple homeowners that they were not permitted to fly American flags.
Outraged by this “unpatriotic” request and what they claimed to be a clear violation of their rights, they decided not to comply with the request and were fined $75 each.
On another occasion, an elderly Korean War veteran was asked by his homeowners association to remove his American flag and was subsequently fined $100 for failing to do so.
On neither cited occasion were the displays unreasonable in time, place, or manner, and with countless other incidences like these out there, it is clear that our nation’s symbolic pride has been disregarded by homeowners associations.
Nationwide, these associations continue to claim that they have authority to request the removal of American flags under the ‘time, place, or manner’ provision of the previously mentioned 2006 law.
However, this “authority” has been frequently viewed as a stretch by many, including Hancock County, Illinois Prosecuting Attorney Michael Griffin, who claims that by “relying on ‘time, place, or manner,” homeowners associations interpret their authority “much too broadly.”
The implementation of controversial and overreaching policies hindering the ability of Americans to display their American flags need to be stopped.
Americans need to come together and honor what has been a source of pride and inspiration for centuries, the sign of our nation’s strength and unity, the American flag.