A 77-year-old Army veteran is being threatened with legal action for flying the American flag in his front yard. Fred Quigley, of Macedonia, Ohio, a retired Army chaplain and minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, has been told his flag violates his homeowners association’s rules on flagpoles. As an alternative, the association offered to place the flag at the entrance of the development, but Mr Quigley refused. Mr Quigley said: ‘It’s the principle. It’s about patriotism, and the soldiers I’ve had to hold as they were dying. ‘It’s just important to me to be bold with the flag. ‘If they can dictate to me that I cannot fly an American flag in America, then, to me, the country is lost.’ Mr Quigley’s lawyer Gerald Patronite said the association has no right to stop his client. He cites a 2003 state statute that addresses the homeowner’s rights in such a dispute. ‘Essentially, no deed restriction or association can abridge this right to display the flag,’ he told AOL Real Estate.
Mr Patronite said that the HOA’s rules state that a flag can only be displayed if affixed to the home. But doing so would mean Mr Quigley would have to put up a much smaller flag. Mr Quigley’s daughter, Karen Wilson, said that she doesn’t understand how anyone could deny her father the right to raise the flag. She said: ‘It’s a standard 15ft pole, with 3ft by 5ft flag. ‘It’s not outlandish, it’s not over-the-top, and it fits in with the house.’ Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowner’s association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, said he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed. Mr Migliorini said: ‘We just want the rules and regulations followed. ‘We’re not gonna have rogue homeowners that are going to just do what they want to do and not get approval.
‘This is not the first time that homeowners have clashed with a homeowners association over the right to display the flag. In Idaho, the dispute ended in a public apology from an association that prohibited flags in ‘common areas.’ In that case, the ‘Freedom to Display the American Flag Act’ of 2005 was cited to uphold the homeowner’s right. On Wednesday, members of the local American Legion post joined Mr Quigley in a flag-raising ceremony in protest at the association’s policy. Mr Quigley said that he’s been given until Monday to remove the flag, or legal action will be taken by the association. ‘As a minister and a chaplain, I have fought for people,’ Quigley said. ‘Now I fight for myself.’