A local homeowner association has ordered the wife of a deployed Marine to stop flying the American flag outside the couple’s home in Oceanside, Calif., because it violates the association’s rules.
Heather Valenti moved to Oceanside in April with her husband Steven, a U.S. Marine stationed at nearby Camp Pendleton who is currently deployed overseas. Valenti has been flying an American flag outside their condo to honor her husband and his fellow service members.
Earlier this week, Valenti received a letter from her homeowner association informing her the flag was a violation of community rules governing the display or storage of property in common areas. Valenti was to told to remove the flag “immediately” of face “further action” by the association’s board of directors.
A portion of the letter reads as follows:
In keeping with good management practices, the following requires your immediate attention: During a recent property inspection a flag was noted in the Common Area landscaping at your unit, which is a violation of the Association CC&R’s. Page 6 of the Rules and Regulations states: ‘No property may be left or stored in the Common Area outside any residence.’ Please remove the flag from the Common Area landscaping immediately. Failure to comply will result in further action by the Board of Directors.
Valenti told a local Fox affiliate she felt like she was being “targeted” by the association because other members of the community continued to display items in commons areas without punishment.
“There are other people in this community that have other things up in the same exact spot and I haven’t seen them taken down — no consequences with that,” she said. “I don’t want to be fined so if I do have to take it down, I would like to have everybody take down their stuff for me to take it down as well.”
Valenti said she would prefer to keep flying the flag as a symbol of respect for her husband and her country. “With my husband overseas, this is important to us,” she said. “We’re American. It’s not offensive to anybody. It’s not even doing anything.”
The American flag has become a subject of some controversy in recent weeks. Protestors upset over the results of the presidential election have caused outrage by burning American flags at anti-Donald Trump rallies across the country.
A group of veterans in Amherst, Mass., marched in protest at Hampshire College this week after the school’s administration decided to remove the American flag from campus following the election.
President-elect Trump caused a stir on Tuesday when he suggested on Twitter that burning the American flag should be a crime punishable by jail time or even loss of citizenship.
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