By Bernie on 05 Jul 2012
Constant reader B.W. often sends me Internet emails to debunk. Here is what he recently received with the title "Don’t mess with a homeowner and his flag!" :
This guy was told by his Homeowners Association that he could not fly the American Flag in his yard...
This is his response:
There are two problems:
- The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 [PDF] makes it illegal for a real estate management organization to prevent anyone from displaying the American flag.
- Homeowners Associations usually have restrictions on the colors you can paint your house, so if anything, if this guy was actually in a Homeowners Association it is highly unlikely that he could get away with this if they didn't want him being patriotic.
So knowing that this story could not entirely be true, I dug deeper and found the real story behind the house:
Forbes, American Flag and Black House
Homeowners who choose to paint their houses with non-traditional colors risk running afoul of their neighbors and local politicians, but owner and contractor Branden Spear never set out to paint his restored Victorian properties with colors that were out of the norm. But when local building inspectors told him that the windows he chose to restore the home weren’t up to historical code, he got angry. “It would have cost one-third of the restoration budget just to install those windows,” says Spear. Then he realized the building code said nothing about what colors the old Victorians should be painted. So as a show of his anger, and as a protest against what he says are unfair regulations, he painted one home all black, and the adjacent home with an American flag theme. They’ve become something of a tourist attraction since, and even though Spear is still at odds with local government officials, he has proven one point – that paint and color can also be used as protest.
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