Neighbors Won't Let Veteran Fly American Flag

Kim Conte
45

flag poleVietnam and Korean War veteran Fred Quigley spent years serving his country and protecting the American flag overseas. Now, at age 77, he's fighting for the right to fly one in his very own yard.

The homeowners' association of Quigley's retirement community in Ohio maintains that the 14-foot flagpole he erected in his yard is in direct violation of the development's rules. According to Joe Migliorini, the head of the association, Quigley is certainly allowed to fly an American flag -- but only if it's attached to the front of his house.

And apparently he's NOT willing to make an exception -- even if it's for a retired colonel and Vietnam vet.

Migliorini says the flagpole is an obstruction that makes landscaping difficult; plus, according to federal standards of flag etiquette, electricity needs to be run out to the pole if Quigley doesn't take it down at night.

Obviously, rules are rules. But Quigley argues that he's in compliance, because according to Ohio law, no private association can restrict the display of the U.S. flag (his lawyer agrees). But more than that, he likes his flagpole:

To me, a flagpole is a thing of boldness and is substantial ... Putting a flag on your house is like putting a wreath on your door. It doesn't mean as much.

Since the dispute went public, Quigley has received an outpouring of support, sympathy, and solidarity from people who think a veteran should be able to fly a flag however she/he wants (provided it meets the standard of federal flag etiquette). Members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Rolling Thunder even came to his property for a ceremonial flag-raising.

Hopefully, public outrage over the fact that a veteran (and a homeowner at that!) has to fight to fly a flag however he wants will encourage the homeowners' association to amend their policy -- or at least make an exception in this instance.

 

Image via krossbow/Flickr

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