Sunday, December 6, 2009

HOA toys with Medal of Honor winner over his flag

This story makes me sick to my stomach. The fact that the HOA would even argue with this hero over a flagpole is disgusting.

Also bear in mind, the story fails to mention that the HOA guidelines do NOT forbid flagpoles. There's also the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which bars any HOA from making any restrictions on flying Old Glory on your own property.

Here's the link, but I've copied the whole story to here as well...

RICHMOND, Va. — One of the nation's oldest Medal of Honor winners was back in the fight Thursday, this time against a neighborhood association that wants him to take down a front-yard flagpole.

Supporters, including a U.S. senator, have been falling in behind 90-year-old retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II veteran awarded the lofty Congressional honor for actions including standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.

Barfoot put up the 21-foot flagpole in September in front of his suburban Richmond home. He raises the American flag daily at sunrise and retires it at sunset.

"It's really ridiculous to want to keep the flag from being flown," he said in a telephone interview. "I've heard some terrible excuses out there."

The Sussex Square homeowners' association says the flagpole violates the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines and ordered him to remove it by 5 p.m. Friday or face a lawsuit. The group has said Barfoot can display the flag, as long as it's in a way that conforms with association rules, such as from a pole mounted on the front of the house.

"This is not about the American flag. This is about a flagpole," the association said in a statement.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., is among those offering to help break the impasse, Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said. Warner and the war hero became acquainted at veterans' events when Warner was Virginia's governor from 2002-06. Others are backing Barfoot on the Internet, including with a Facebook page.

Barfoot won the Medal of Honor for actions while his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944. The award citation says Barfoot, then a 2nd lieutenant, crept up alone on German machine gun nests, killing and capturing enemy troops in three of them, stopped their three-tank advance and helped two seriously wounded comrades back to safety.

He also won the Purple Heart and other decorations, and served in Korea and Vietnam before retiring from the service in 1974. The Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center, a state nursing home for military retirees in Richmond, bears his name.

Barfoot's daughter, Margaret Nicholls, said her father has been moved to tears by the outpouring of support, and hopes the nine-member homeowners' board will use its discretion and let him keep the pole.

"A house-mounted pole? That is not an option," Nicholls said. "The flagpole is definitely what he's fighting for."


911 and the Randomness.. said...

I hope he wins! What kind of jerk is trying to bring a lawsuit?? Can they please explain how a flag pole is not 'aesthetic' in any way??

Firelady said...

I think it's more of a sad thing to not have them everywhere. That was the silver lining to the 9-11 attacks, flags everywhere. I hope he not only wins, but he slam-dunks their sorry behinds!

Hotflash said...

I hope the HOA gets laughed out of the courtroom! Claiming the issue is the flagpole and not the flag in order to dance around the man's legal right to display the flag, that is just steer excrement!

Firelady said...

I forgot to update this, the HOA finally removed their heads from their collective 4th-point-of-contact and dropped the issue.