An Ohio man is standing his ground after a homeowner association ordered him to remove a Thin Blue Line flag he flies for his son who died in the line of duty.
“The American flag represents my fight for our country and our freedom. The Blue Line flag represents my son,” Thomas DiSario said, according to WTTE-TV.
Kirkersville Police Chief Eric DiSario was killed in the line of duty in 2017.
“That police flag was given to me when my son was buried. It represents him. Nothing else,” DiSario said.
But last week, Omni Community Association Managers sent him a letter saying the flag violated deed restrictions in their Etna area neighborhood.
“The political sign in the form of a flag much be removed from your property. The flag on your pole is not a United States Flag. It is a political statement. Please remove the flag from your property,” the letter said.
DiSario’s response was succinct: “I’m not taking it down.”
“The flag is not political,” DiSario said. “That flag stands for my son’s death and it’s been … there ever since my son was buried. I don’t know why all of a sudden I am having problems.”
“They said after the third letter that I would be fined and they will continue fining me until I take it down,” DiSario said. “Well, I’m not paying the fine. So it’s going to go to court and a judge is going to settle it.”
DiSario said he has faced harassment as well.
“There was a gentleman [who came] in the yard and he took the flag down and he wiped his face with it,” DiSario said. “I asked him to leave, but he came back, sat on my rock and proceeded to take my flag down again so I called the sheriff’s office.”
The disabled combat veteran said he will fight as long as it takes.
“I don’t care about their fines; I don’t care what they do. The only way it’s coming down is if a judge tells me it has to come down,” DiSario said.
“I’ve fought my whole life. This fight is nothing.”
“The flag represents my son. I am not taking it down.”
Thomas DiSario is being told to take down his Thin Blue Line flag. He says it’s been flying in his yard since May 2017, when his son was shot and killed in the line of duty in Kirkersville. https://t.co/Cemtbc1HhQ pic.twitter.com/CrTGpA8SCY
— FOX 28 Columbus (@fox28columbus) May 21, 2022
DiSario said his son would not understand all the contention over the flag.
“As a police officer, I know Eric would be upset by this. He was friendly, he was loved. He had no enemies. Eric could walk up to you and start a conversation. Now, he is just greatly missed,” he said.
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