Society

Wife Of Marine Told To Remove American Flag From House (Photo)

| by Michael Howard
American flagAmerican flag

A woman whose Marine husband is currently deployed was told by her homeowner's association that she had to take down an American flag displayed outside her home.

Heather Valenti moved to Oceanside, California, in April, after her husband was transferred there from Virginia, according to KSWB. She put up the flag as a tribute to her husband.

"With my husband overseas, this is important to us," Valenti told KSWB. "We're American. It's not offensive to anybody. It's not even doing anything."

A letter from her homeowner's association indicated that the flag's location was in violation of the rules and regulations and demanded that she remove it immediately:

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.

However, Valenti says she has neighbors who display similar items in common areas, such as security signs and a flag with a pineapple on it. They have reportedly not been made to take those items down.

"I just feel like I'm being targeted," she said. "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."

Valenti added that she is willing to remove her flag, provided the rules are applied to everyone -- not just her.

"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 ... as well," she said.

The flag has been at the center of a number of recent controversies. Following President-elect Donald Trump's victory Nov. 8, several flag-burning incidents have taken place, most notably on the campus of Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

On Nov. 29, Trump sent out a tweet in which he argued that anyone who burns the flag should face serious legal consequences.

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag -- if they do, there must be consequences -- perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!" he wrote, according to KSWB.

The Supreme Court has twice ruled that desecration of the American flag is protected by the First Amendment. The most recent ruling came in 1990, when the Flag Protection Act of 1989 was deemed unconstitutional. 

Sources: KSWB (2) / Photo credit: Paul Brennan/Public Domain Pictures, KSWB

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