HOA Tells Residents To Remove Their American Flags Or Face A Fine

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Murray Utah HomeMurray Utah Home

The homeowners association of a Murray, Utah, community is fining residents for flying the American flag.

In the Chestnut Place condominium community, there are about 60 homeowners who were previously allowed to fly the American flag without regulation or restriction at their homes.

That recently changed.

"After the last board meeting, we were leaving and two members of the board and a resident said they were tired of looking at the flag," Jo Ann Dugay, one of the five board members on the homeowners association, told FOX 13. "They said 'is this flag row?' And that something needed to be done about it.”

Warnings were then sent to residents instructing them to take down their flags or face a fine.

"All exterior decorations must be removed within 10 days following the holiday,” stated a notice with a $75 fine that was given to flag-flying resident Erin Worthen. "Please remove your flag from the common area (Utah Community Association Act. 57-8a-219)."

Worthen had previously refused to take her flag down, stating it was the “one thing [she would not] do.”

“[The flag] is not a holiday decoration," Worthen remarked. "People have died for that, it is not a holiday decoration."

The homeowners association president, Lyn Steinbergen, is happy to see the American flag, and all other flags, removed from the community.

"Flags are flown on holiday events," Steinbergen said. "All we are trying to do is regulate when the flag goes up, and when it comes down.”

Steinbergen told KUTV that the flag “detracts from the appearance of the place” and is “not festive or necessary.”

Homeowners had planned to address the matter at a HOA meeting on Oct. 2, but it was allegedly canceled at the last minute due to the absence of one board member.

"The meeting was canceled because the association wanted to make sure that they had the entire input of the board," HOA attorney, Peter Harrison, said, according to KUTV.

Homeowners believe the HOA is evading the issue.

"I was shocked," Worthen said. "Even if there is not all the board members, we had four of the five which is the majority, and that meeting should have been held."

"I have a legal right to fly my American [f]lag, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it,” a frustrated Worthen yelled, according to FOX 13.

Harrison said the HOA has the legal right to ban flying flags outside of holidays.

Sources: FOX 13, KUTV / Photo credit: KUTV