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Thursday, June 11, 2015

When an Iraq war veteran was told by his homeowner’s association that he would need to take down the American flag from his porch, he knew he had to do something.

Before he posted the flag, veteran David Toner consulted the property manager and got permission to do so. Soon after, however, he was told to take it down because a resolution to the HOA guidelines had not been approved yet.

Toner was understandably outraged that he was being forced to take down the flag he fought so hard to protect.

“That flag is staying right where it is,” he said. “This is something that shouldn’t be happening here in Hampton Roads.”

Dana Shotts-Neff, the president of the Chesapeake Bay Management company,  has claimed that the association had “no intention of denying anyone the right to fly the American flag.”

Instead, she said that the HOA saw the flag as an alteration to the home, meaning the resident would need to officially apply for permission before going forward with it.

“Absolutely ridiculous,” Toner said. “You shouldn’t even have to ask permission to have an American flag on your property.”

To defend his claim, Toner cited the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which specifically states that any type of property 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.”

Toner says that while the Homeowners Association reviews his case, his flag is staying right where it is.

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