I’ve heard plenty of ridiculous excuses for condominium and homeowner associations to ban American flags, but this is a new one: The sound of the flapping annoys people.
That, alas, is why Andrew Almer says his condo association is threatening him with a $200 a day fine if he flies Old Glory on his back porch in Fargo, North Dakota. According to Fox News, his neighbors have claimed it bothers them on windy days.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted when I owned a home,” Almer told Fox.
“Having an American flag in the yard is just an American thing — that pride to have.”
Almer said he’s lived in the condo for five years and has been flying the flag for about two.
“It’s a symbol of our nation. It should be flown whenever it can be,” the North Dakotan said, according to KVLY-TV.
“I have a lot of friends and family that serve in the military.”
However, KVLY reported Almer’s been receiving threats via letter from his condo association for two months now.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” the man said. “With everything that’s going on in the world these days and this is what you’re going to complain about?”
“It’s not anything offensive,” Almer says. “It’s not rude, it’s not nasty, it’s the American flag.”
Fargo man told to take his American flag down because it’s too noisy in the wind.https://t.co/9tX9FnMuGN
— Valley News Live (@ValleyNewsLive) March 11, 2021
As for the commotion about the flapping noise the American flag makes, Almer told Fox it’s a “personal vendetta” the president of the condo association, who lives above Almer, has against him.
“The first letter I got, I laughed, because I just thought, ‘This is ridiculous,’” he said. “You cannot tell me somebody is complaining about a flapping flag in the wind.”
But the thing is, a complaint about the flapping noise is one possible way that someone with a vendetta could get it taken down.
Legally, you have the right to fly the American flag on your property. According to KVLY, the Federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 prevents homeowners associations from restricting you from displaying the flag on your property.
However, homeowners associations can restrict people from flying the flag if it’s in the best interests of the association or there’s a reasonable reason to do so.
If they can’t tell Almer to take the American flag down because of a vendetta, of course, they can do it because it’s too noisy — no matter how silly it is. A court would eventually have to decide.
Both Fox News and KVLY reportedly tried to get in touch with the condo association but didn’t hear back.
Whatever the case, Almer said he’ll risk the fines.
“It’s not coming down anytime soon,” he told KVLY. “It’s not making that much noise that it’s a liability to the association.”
And if that means litigation — bring it on, he said.
Should this man be able to fly the American flag?
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“[I]f I need to, we’ll take it to court, but hopefully it doesn’t have to get that far and there can be some resolution that’s peaceful,” he added, according to Fox.
The resolution should be to drop this entirely, of course.
There’s a reason why there’s a law that protects your right to fly a flag on your property: It’s about what our country stands for. It’s about the military men and women that Almer knows. It’s about our freedom and those who have fought for it.
If he takes it down under the ridiculous pretext that the sound of the American flag flapping annoys people, it’ll be a win for the wrong kind of people. Patriots need to stand with Andrew Almer — and we need to let him know we’re behind him.
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