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Scoot: Should the US flag be exempt from neighborhood rules?

There is a new controversy over an American flag and the rules of a homeowner’s association – this time in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado.
Townhouse resident, David Renner, says the Southbridge Townhomes Association sent him a $200 fine for flying a Betsy Ross flag outside of his townhome. Renner put the flag out before Flag Day – which was Saturday, June 17. The homeowners’ association rules only allow the current American flag to be flown. The Betsy Ross flag has 13 stripes and a circle of 13 stars in the blue background where the 50 stars are currently placed.
Renner claims he has the right to fly the Betsy Ross flag under the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which he says loosely defines what constitutes an America flag. Renner told a local television station, “I don’t want to p** off my neighbors or make them angry. I just want to honor our history.”
The townhome association has had other problems with David Renner. In April, he caused a controversy over flying the Gadsden, the yellow pre-revolutionary flag carrying the words, “Don’t Tread On Me.” In May, Renner was fined $100 for flying the Colorado state flag. Now, it’s the Betsy Ross flag that is causing controversy.
Recently, a Harley-Davidson owner criticized Harley-Davidson for not honoring the corporate-issued warranty on the drive train of his Harley. The company argued that the Harley owner flew numerous flags on his bike – including the American flag - which put additional drag on the drive train of his Harley – therefore, the warranty was void.
Occasionally, there are controversies surrounding the American flag that are presented in such a way that make it seem as if the American flag is under attack. The Harley owner accused Harley-Davidson of being unpatriotic, but the company was not singling out the American flag – it simply decided that flying numerous flags on a bike are not covered under the warranty.
Other American flag controversies have focused on neighborhood’s homeowner association rules.
This is America, so should the American flag be exempt from any and all neighborhood rules? Should the American flag be respected and allowed to be flown outside of any residence in America?
Realizing that some will consider this an attack on the American flag – which it is not – rules are rules and if a neighborhood homeowners’ association has rules about flags – then the American flag should not be exempt. Although, I do not understand why there would be an objection to flying the American flag.
Having said that – I do think it is absurd for the Stonebridge Townhomes Association in Littleton, Colorado to fine a resident for flying the Betsy Ross flag when the current America flag is acceptable.
The controversies that quickly erupt over rules about when and where the America flag can be flown are the result of increasing insecurity and a general fear that we are losing America.
We are not losing America. America is again experiencing changes, but that has been part of this country since its inception. Patriotism lives within the hearts and minds of Americans more than it lives in the display of a tangible cloth flag.
I respect the American flag and all those who fought for the freedoms that are represented by the flag, but rules should be respected.  Those who seem quick to challenge rules about the flag are using the flag for the purpose of stirring controversy and forcing a definition of patriotism.
Using the America flag to incite others and to start a controversy do not seem to be the proper way to respect our flag and all those who died defending it.
David Renner of Littleton, Colorado has 13 different flags and says he flies all of them with great pride. Renner said, “I love flags. I love flag history.”
If David Renner – or anyone – disagrees with the rules of their neighborhood’s homeowners’ association over flying the American flag – they should look at the flag and respect that the flag represents their freedom to move!
 Photo via euthman, Flickr

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Locations : ColoradoDenverLittleton
People : David Renner

06/17/2014 6:13AM
Scoot: Should the US flag be exempt from neighborhood rules?
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06/17/2014 3:29PM
Rules or rules. Don't buy in an area with covenants and restrictions.
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