Another battle is shaping up between a homeowner’s association and a resident who finds its mandates too stifling.
This time, a veteran in Texas is pushing back after his flag display was found to be in violation of his subdivision’s rules.
According to Fox News, Marine Cpl. Michael Pereira and his wife moved to the Kingdom Heights community of Rosenberg about two months ago.
Shortly after moving in, the couple raised an American flag and a U.S. Marine Corps flag alongside their driveway.
“They represent this country,” he said in an interview with KPRC. “They represent a brotherhood I was a part of.”
Pereira, who served three tours of duty in Iraq, said the flags also “show respect for all the people (he) went to war with and the ones that didn’t come back.”
At first, he said his ritual of raising and lowering the flags daily began as anticipated.
“I got to take them down every night and put them up every morning,” he said.
Before long, though, he heard from his HOA.
“I’m guessing somebody didn’t like it or somebody reported it or something,” he said.
A property manager reportedly instructed him to take the flags down, citing the poles as a violation of community standards.
According to an attorney for the subdivision, Pereira erected two 20-foot flagpoles, one on each side of his driveway, “without first submitting the plans or seeking approval.”
Terry Sears cited several specific violations, including that “one of the poles is in a utility easement.”
The attorney’s statement made it clear that the association did not issue the order because of the flags being displayed.
“We are certainly not opposed to the flying of an American flag or Marine Corps flag outside one’s home, but we do request that any homeowner wanting to install a flagpole (or any structure outside of one’s home) to follow the rules and applicable law,” Sears wrote.
He went on to write that the HOA has “already reached out to the Veteran to let him know that the issue is not the flags and are awaiting a response.”
Sears expressed a willingness to “continue to work with this Veteran in relocating one of his poles” and thanked Pereira “for his personal sacrifice and service to our Country.”
Pereira said he was told to request a construction modification when he sought an exemption to the flag rule.
That request was still outstanding as of the latest reports available, though the homeowner said he is not prepared to take down the flags even if his initial effort is not successful.
“If they’re going to take them down, it’s going to be a fight to take them down,” he said. “And no one fights harder than a veteran combat Marine.”
Among the steps he is considering should his exemption be denied is circulating “a petition to get the rules changed.”
While he believes someone in the area might have had a problem with his flags, at least one neighbor thinks it is “silly” to force a veteran to follow the community’s rules regarding flag displays.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Ashley Johannsen said. “I think it’s kind of silly to have someone take down their flags — especially if he fought for the country.”
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