A Florida woman was taken aback when her homeowner's association told her she had to remove a "Blue Lives Matter" flag from outside her home (video below).
The woman's father, Jeff Gaddie, who is a member of law enforcement, said his daughter did not wish to be identified out of fear that she would receive unwanted attention but that she flies it to show her support for him and other officers, according to WJAX.
The flag has flown outside the homeowner's property in St. Johns County, Florida, for years, so Gaddie said his daughter was shocked when she received a letter telling her that she needed to remove it immediately.
"She called to ask why," Gaddie said. "They told her they had received a complaint that it was considered racist, offensive and anti-black lives matter."
But Gaddie did not understand why some people found the flag racially offensive.
"We've got black officers, we've got Asian officers, we've got every race," Gaddie said. "I mean for them to say it's racist, blue is not a race, it's the furthest thing from it."
The homeowner, who has other law enforcement members in her family as well, called the HOA, which told her to file a written request for her to display the flag. She did so, and that request was subsequently rejected. She intends to appeal the ruling at an upcoming HOA meeting, her father explained.
The Blue Lives Matter flag is commonly flown as a symbol of support for the police force and features a black and white American flag with one of the stripes in the middle blue to represent the "thin blue line" that is often associated with police officers.
"If you drive by and see that flag, it kind of makes you feel a little bit better that there's a family that supports what I'm doing," Gaddie said.
The HOA rules state that all flags must be approved by the association before they are flown, while First Coast Association Management, the company responsible for enforcing those requirements, stated that it has a policy of only allowing American and military-themed flags.
According to WJAX, others are flown in the community.
Federal law allows HOAs to ban most flags except the American flag, as long as there are no concerns related to safety or visibility, under the "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005," according to NOLO.