Neighborhood Association denial of flag

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by srichardson925, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. srichardson925

    srichardson925 New Member

    Does a homeowners association have the right to tell a homeowner that they cannot install a flag pole and then display an American flag?
     
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .
    Hello, SRichardson925 ! :D

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site Forums !


    QUOTE : "Does a homeowners association have the right to tell a homeowner that they cannot install a flag pole and then display an American flag?"

    It depends on how the rules of the HOA (Home Owners Association) regarding Flags "square up" with The United States' "Public Law 109-243". When you read it please note one of the terms used in it is "any reasonable restriction".


    On January 4th, 2005, House Resolution 42 (H.R. 42) was introduced in the House of Representatives. H.R. 42's "Short Title" is "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005".

    H.R. 42 was passed by the House on June 27th, 2006.
    H.R. 42 was passed by the Senate on July 17th, 2006.

    H.R. 42 was signed into law (as Public Law 109-243) by President George W. Bush on July 24th, 2006.

    =================================================

    Here is the UNOFFICIAL summary of H.R. 42, the "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005" :

    Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 - States that a condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent an association member from displaying the U.S. flag on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.
    States that nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with: (1) federal law or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag; or (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium, cooperative, or residential real estate management association.

    ==============================================

    HERE IS THE OFFICIAL FULL TEXT OF THE BILL AS IT WAS PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW :

    H.R.42

    One Hundred Ninth Congress of the United States of America

    AT THE SECOND SESSION

    BegunReceived; read twice and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
    the third day of January, two thousand and six

    An Act
    To ensure that the right of an individual to display the flag of the United States on residential property not be abridged.
    • Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    • This Act may be cited as the `Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005'.
    SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
    • For purposes of this Act--
      • (1) the term `flag of the United States' has the meaning given the term `flag, standard, colors, or ensign' under section 3 of title 4, United States Code;
        (2) the terms `condominium association' and `cooperative association' have the meanings given such terms under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603);
        (3) the term `residential real estate management association' has the meaning given such term under section 528 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 528); and
        (4) the term `member'--
        • (A) as used with respect to a condominium association, means an owner of a condominium unit (as defined under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603)) within such association;
          (B) as used with respect to a cooperative association, means a cooperative unit owner (as defined under section 604 of Public Law 96-399 (15 U.S.C. 3603)) within such association; and
          (C) as used with respect to a residential real estate management association, means an owner of a residential property within a subdivision, development, or similar area subject to any policy or restriction adopted by such association.
    SEC. 3. RIGHT TO DISPLAY THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.
    • A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.
    SEC. 4. LIMITATIONS.
    • Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with--
      • (1) any provision of chapter 1 of title 4, United States Code, or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag of the United States (as established pursuant to such chapter or any otherwise applicable provision of law); or
        (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.
    ================================================


    I am NOT a lawyer (nor do I play one on TV!) and this is NOT legal advice !!!


    As Section 3 [RIGHT TO DISPLAY THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.] (above) states, a HOA can NOT restrict or prevent you from displaying an American Flag.

    But... In Section 4 [LIMITATIONS.], sub-section (2) they use the phrases (or terms) "any reasonable restriction" and "necessary to protect a substantial interest". I believe that the "substantial interest" is probably referring to something like "property values".

    Maybe the Home Owners Association (HOA) is unaware of the existance and provisions of the "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005" ???

    Maybe they don't know that they can NOT restrict or prevent you from displaying an American Flag on your property ???

    Maybe they are worried that if one of the members of their HOA puts up a great big flagpole, everybody's property values will take a hit ???

    Maybe their worried about the Flag being fully illuminated all night long will keep your neighbors awake because of "light pollution" ???


    I don't know where you live, what your situation is, or what your HOA's objections are. I hope that you and your HOA can come to some kind of agreement that will allow you to freely fly the Flag of the United States of America on your own property !!!


    BTW : There is another thread on the same subject. Although it is about two years old, there might be something there that will help you out, or at least help you understand what your options are!

    http://www.usa-flag-site.org/forum/flags-at-apartments-1618.html


    Good Luck and let us know how it all turns out. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. hopefully, one (or more) of us will have an answer for you.

    Thank you for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forums !!!


    Robin Hickman
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