Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Condo Association's Anti-Flag Missive Sure to Garner Worst Publicity Possible

In what seems like a major attempt to get as much bad publicity as possible, an Alabama condominium association has ordered a soldier   to get rid of the American flag he's displaying in the unit where he lives, and do it pronto, according to television station WHNT.
A condo association in Alabama might be in trouble
for not letting a soldier display an American flag in his unit.  

Anytime this type of thing happens, there's an uproar, and this is no exception.

I'm not sure what the Stepping Stones condo association in Huntsville, Alabama was thinking when they gave a note to Staff Sgt. Brandon Weir

It was a pretty blunt, almost nasty note, if you want my opinion

"Resident: It has come to our attention that you have items in plain sight that are not to be visible from the parking lot by rules and guidelines stated in the home owners association bylaws. Please remove the following listed item(s) as son as possible to keep the community as tidy as possible," said the typewritten form letter.

Then in handwriting: "Your flag attached to the stairs has to be removed ASAP!"

Condominium Association President Carol Coffey was quoted as saying the appearance of the condominiums was of utmost importance.

“In order to maintain the integrity of that asset we have certain rules because people could put anything out here if we let them.”

Yes, a pile of wrecked cars on blocks would probably be a bad idea at the condo and there ought to be rules against something like that. But a flag?

Couldn't the association anticipate a storm of criticism for trying to force the removal of a flag? This has happened before and it has outraged people to the point where there's a federal law forcing homeowners association to allow residents to display the American flag.

Coffey is quoted as saying the law applies to detached homes, not condominiums because everybody collectively owns the condo complex.  Since the flag is out on the front stoop, Coffey said it's on communal. Not perosonal property

Really? I thought you only bought one unit at a time in most places, and if you attach a flag to a wall of your unit even an exterior unit, it's on your house.

Besides, the federal law is written to include condo complexes. Sorry, Carol.. Looks like the flag stays put.

Coffey said it's not as if she's got anything against the American flag. According to WHNT:

“I served in Afghanistan, I served in Iraq and I served in Kuwait. I am not anti-veteran and I am not a communist,” Coffey said staunchly.

Well, fine. You love America. But aren't you being a bit anal about displaying the flag in this precious condo complex?

Coffey said Weir also should have approached the condo association with their objection to the flag removal note before posting information on veterans' web sites.

"This person got the letter from our management team and instead of coming to the board and expressing his concern he went and posted something on two or three veteran’s sites without all the information and without us knowing anything about it and now we’re being threatened–that’s not right.”

OK, we'll concede that point. If he didn't do so, Weir maybe should have complained to the board first, then go public if he didnt' get satisfaction.  But he was probably so understandably outraged by the note that he fired off messages on social media.

After the uproar and demonstrations at the condo site, Coffey said they are reconsidering the rules and possibly offering waivers to allow flags in some units.

Given the federal law, that's the least they can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment