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Veteran Wins Right to Display Flag Over Condo

Veteran Wins Right to Display Flag Over Condo



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DRAPER, Utah (AP) -- An Air Force veteran has won a battle with his homeowners association over his display of an American flag over the door of his town house.

Kevin Capito said he received a letter this week from the association approving his application and outlining the conditions under which he can display the Stars and Stripes.

"The letter said I'm free to leave it up if I accept all liability for any damage to the outside of the town house," Capito said.

The flag on Capito's home became the subject of controversy in March, shortly after he mounted the flag holder and began flying a standard 3-by-5-foot flag.

Community Management, which manages the property, contacted Capito to inform him that the mounting bracket he installed violated homeowners association regulations and ordered him to take it -- and thus the flag -- down. He said the association threatened to put a lien on his home if it wasn't removed.

A Community Management employee said the communications with Capito about removing the flag had nothing to do with the flag itself, but the mounting that was placed on the town house without the association board's permission.

Capito, who spent four years serving in the Air Force, cited the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, in his response to the management company.

The law prohibits homeowners associations and other real-estate associations or management companies from prohibiting proper displays or uses of the flag, which includes mounting it on a 45-degree angle on the front of a building, as Capito's is.

The approval letter Capito received this week came with several conditions including that he repair any damage the mount may cause to the exterior of the building.

"That's reasonable," Capito said.

But he is disappointed the flap over his flag addresses only his property and doesn't set a larger precedent.

"Until there's some case law, HOAs will continue to do this to people," Capito said. "I guess it'll be up to the next person to take it to court."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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