When U.S. Air Force veteran Wayne Marchant moved to his Franklin, Ohio subdivision nine years ago, he received permission to install a flag pole to fly his American flag.
Last week, the HOA’s management company, Omni Community Association Managers, LLC, sent him a letter demanding that he take it down.
“As a veteran, I wouldn’t think to erect a flagpole and fly the American flag would be something that I would have to get permission to do,” the Warren County resident told WLWT.
Marchant received a letter from Omni on May 30 that alleges Marchant’s flag violates the “community’s standards.”
“During a recent inspection, it was observed that a flag pole has been erected in your front lawn which does not comply with the community’s standards, which violates the Deed Restrictions and/or Rules, as such, the structure needs to be removed or modified to meet applicable standards; and to ensure compliance,” the letter read.
“Basically, my flagpole is in violation of HOA rules,” Marchant said.
Marchant wasn’t the only targeted in the crackdown. Another neighbor, identified only as Ms. Moore, also received the same letter.
“I get incensed over it. It’s absolutely a strike against patriotic Americans. It’s not an offensive flag. It’s our country’s flag. What can be wrong with that?” Moore said. “The homeowners association, in my opinion, is just totally out of line.”
Marchant took to Facebook to vent his frustrations, and said he’s received encouragement from across the country to stand up to the HOA’s demands.
“All over the country with the same message, ‘Don’t take it down,’” Marchant said.
Marchant also received support from others in his neighborhood, including Vietnam veteran Bill McAdory, who also flies an American flag at his home around the corner but was not asked to take it down.
“Flying it is what we do and it should be. Every American citizen should be allowed to fly their flag,” he said. “I can’t believe a flag, especially an American flag, would degrade the looks and the appearance of the property.”
Marchant’s Facebook post was shared thousands of times in recent days, and the backlash reportedly convinced Omni to reconsider the flag policy.
“The HOA has informed me that my flagpole will be allowed to stay and anyone in our community that wishes to erect a pole in the future will be allowed to do so as long as they make the proper applications,” Marchant posted in an update Wednesday.
“Thanks to everyone across this great country for your words of encouragement and sharing the story,” he wrote. “Without this support the outcome might not have been so good.”