In the News: You Can’t Hang that Flag in this Neighborhood

A Fort Worth homeowners’ association is reported here and here as disallowing its residents from flying an American flag. State law prohibits HOAs from disallowing homeowners from flying the Texas flag, the flag of any branch of the United States armed forces, and the United States flag, subject to certain restrictions.

The hangup? The flags at issue aren’t red, white, and blue. The banned flags are black, white, and blue: a representative tribute to law enforcement, especially those injured and killed in the line of duty. s-l300

Homeowners are reportedly being issued citations.

How is this issue to be resolved? At the end of the day, the homeowners govern themselves. Therefore, they ultimately should have the ability to change the rules through their voting power, should they so choose. For now, however, the HOA is reported to be controlled by its developer. This isn’t unusual during the early stages of a neighborhood’s development.

What protocols are in place to motivate the developer to adhere to the will of the homeowners during the developer’s control period? Has the developer received complaints from other homeowners about these “non-conforming” flags? If the developer allows these non-conforming United States flags, does it open the door to having to allow other, non-conforming flags and symbols?

In our In the News series, we use an article or topic that has been featured recently in the news as a potential learning opportunity.


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