A North Carolina man says he is being unfairly targeted by his neighborhood’s homeowners' association (HOA) for flying a Confederate-style flag from the front porch of his Cary home.
In a videotaped interview with WNCN News (shown below) Frank Bray said he doesn’t think his flag — which combines elements of the North Carolina state flag and the Confederate battle flag — promotes racism.
“I’m proud of where I’m from,” he said. “There’s no malice or ill will behind it.”
But, according to a letter from Omega Association Management, who apparently oversees the neighborhood’s homeowners' association, Bray’s neighbors don’t necessarily agree.
“Please be aware that this type of flag is not permitted in the community,” the letter reads, in part, according to WNCN. “We have received several complaints regarding the offensive nature of your flag, as well as concerns it may hinder the sale of homes in the community.”
Bray told WRAL News that he began flying the flag after the national backlash against Confederate symbols following the shootings at a black church in South Carolina in June.
“It’s turning into a debate on the flag when this is really a homeowner versus a homeowner association,” Bray said. “I think the flag is getting a bad rap. The homeowners' association is not treating me fairly.”
But Brian Edlin, the attorney for the homeowners' association, told WRAL that a neighborhood covenant states that residents must seek approval for “free standing flagpoles.”
“It prevents flags from being flown without permission of the association,” Edlin said. “The association has made the decision that the Confederate flag is not allowed.”
Bray said he has tried to contact the association but his calls haven’t been returned. He said he still doesn’t know exactly what rule he has broken.
“It appeared they were trying to enforce an ordinance they were pulling out of the air,” he said.
Edlin said Bray could face a $100 fine for each day he refuses to remove the flag.
But it might all be moot.
Bray told WNCN he purchased the flag because he thought it was a historical North Carolina state flag, but he has since learned from a historian that is not the case. He said he plans to replace it with the official flag of the Confederacy — often referred to as “The Stars and Bars” — which differs from the more well-known battle flag.
It remains to be seen if the change will clear up the controversy.
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube