Has your homeowner’s associations (HOA) told you to remove the American flag in front of your home? It’s no secret that HOAs have become increasingly common in the United States. According to the Community Associations Institute, HOAs now govern nearly 25 million homes in the United States. Unfortunately, some of these HOAs are overzealous regarding their rules. The good news is that you don’t have to necessarily take down your American flag just because your HOA instructed you to.
Is Your American Flag a Safety Hazard?
If the American flag displayed in front of your home is a safety hazard to other residents, the HOA can instruct you to take it down. After all, part of the HOA’s job is to ensure a safe and comfortable community for all residents and the public alike. An American flag flown atop an unstable pole is a safety hazard that could cause injury if it falls. As a result, the HOA has the authority to ask the homeowner to remove it.
The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005
Assuming neither your American flag nor the flagpole to which it’s mounted is a safety hazard, your HOA typically can’t prohibit you from displaying the American flag in front of your home. There’s actually a federal law that prohibits HOAs, as well as other real estate management organizations, from restricting or prohibiting homeowners from displaying the American flag in front of their home or elsewhere on their private property.
Known as the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, it was sponsored by Roscoe Barlett and over a dozen of other House of Representative members in 2005. On June 27, 2006, the bill passed the initial voice vote. Just one month later, it passed in the Senate. And on July 24, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 into law.
What exactly does the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 do? This law protects the flag-flying rights of all U.S. homeowners. Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast or elsewhere, you can rest assured knowing that neither your HOA nor any other real estate management organization can restrict or prohibit you from displaying the American flag on your property.
The bottom line is that you are “free” to display the American flag in front of your home under the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005. If your HOA instructs you to take it down, they are essentially breaking the law, assuming your American flag isn’t a safety hazard.