In his iconic ode to the land of the free and the home of the brave, “Proud to be an American, Lee Greenwood declared, “I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today, ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.” Unfortunately for one Boston man, that sentiment may not ring true for his condo association’s management board.
Mark DiGiovanni, 52, is fighting his Fort Point condo board for the right to use hang an American flag in his window, which violates the board’s policy only allowing white window coverings.
“There’s so much conflict and questions about the future of our country, I think it’s a good reminder for people to think about what it means,” DiGiovanni told The Boston Hearld. “Maybe they think it’s déclassé or tacky. I don’t know.”
According to The Herald:
DiGiovanni said he hung the flag to honor his five World War II veteran uncles, one of whom stormed the beach at Normandy, and a close cousin who served in the Marine Corps.
He told the Herald he used a provision in his condo deed to ask for an exception to the building’s white-curtains-only rule in May, but the board of trustees denied his request the same day. Now, the managers for the building at the intersection of Congress and A streets have given him until tomorrow to take it down, or be fined.
Trustee Sean McGrail told The Herald the board was merely responding to a resident’s complaint about the flag, while another trustee, Michael Avery, declined comment. Avery is a Suffolk University Law School professor who made waves in 2011 when he called it “shameful” to support “men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings” in an email to colleagues in response to a campus care package drive for U.S. troops.
However, DiGiovanni’s fight may have one ideological flaw: his displaying of the American flag may break the federal guidelines intended to guard its honor. According to Public Law 94-344, the Federal Flag code, the American flag should not be used “as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.”