Veterans – Abide by HOA Rules on American Flags? “When I’m Dead”

By Faye Higbee

Woodstock, Georgia – HOAs (Home Owner Associations) around the nation are continually making veterans angry by placing rules on when or even if the American flag can be flown, posted, hung, etc. One such HOA in Georgia told homeowners they can only fly their flags on 23 holidays. That makes the American flag a “decoration” – and the veterans in that neighborhood are exceedingly unhappy.

The Village at Towne Lake in Cherokee County, Georgia has rules. But they didn’t used to have them. Some of the people who have lived there for up to 10 years have proudly flown their American flags. In fact, one resident’s home was used in the publicity for buying homes in the village and she had her flags flying in the photo.

This was a  promotional photo for the Village at Towne Lake used by the home builder

The HOA at the Village sent an email last week to the residents, advising them to remove their flags because they can only be displayed 23 days of the year on certain holidays. If they don’t take them down, they will face a fine. As you can imagine…that didn’t go over well.

“Brave men and women fought for that flag. Many of them come home in coffins draped in that flag.” Donna Gorschi, whose father fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Her flags have flown ever since she moved in.

Numerous veterans live in the neighborhood. Everyone of them were upset.  Navy veterans, Air Force veterans, Army veterans…all felt that the HOA was treating the flags as a decoration. Why would they suddenly change?

The HOA, for its part, claims that the rules “maintain  the aesthetic and architectural theme of the community.” That’s not even logical. One veteran stated it was equating the flag to “Christmas lights.”

When asked if the he would obey the new HOA rules, Navy Veteran Tom Wilder and Army Veteran Richard Tibbitts had some excellent responses:

“When I’m dead.” Tom Wilder

“I will remove my flag from the house when they move my body out of the house and cover it with that flag.” Richard Tibbetts

The veterans plan to keep their flags flying. Fox5 and other local media contacted the HOA, but were told they had no comment.

We have written article after article about HOAs who have tried to impose restrictions on the flying of the American flag. In every case there was either someone who complained about the flags, or a new person who decided to exercise their authority. In most cases, the resulting firestorm stopped the “rules.”

It speaks of a complete disconnect with people who have no idea what that flag means to veterans who have fought for it, or ordinary citizens who love it. In this case, at least one of the veterans has put their house up for sale.

A local news media conducted a poll…the result should give pause to these HOAs that think they’re making the neighborhood better:

96% do not agree with the policy