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Source: WSB Atlanta
Date: July 22, 2011
Byline: unsigned

HOA Gives In Over Military Flag Dispute

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A fight over a military flag put one North Fulton County family at odds with its homeowner's association, but the association has decided not to seek penalization.

John and Rosana Klein's son, Brendan, is serving in the Marine Corps.

To honor him, they hung a Marine Corps flag in a window facing their Aven Court home.

"A week after we put it up, we got a notice from the HOA," Klein told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik.

The notice told Klein that the HOA had received complaints about a "towel" hanging in the window, and asking him to remove it because it was in violation of the Avensong Community's covenants. He was facing a daily fine for the display.

“I’m not sure how you mistake any military flag for a towel," said Klein. "We want to make it clear, it’s not a towel; it's Marine Corps flag."

After Klein informed the HOA of the misunderstanding, he said he received another email telling him to remove the flag from the window and to put it into a proper flag holder.

Avensong Community Association president Alan Tart sent Petchenik a statement about the flag flap:

"The HOA made it very clear to Mr. Klein that it had no problem with him displaying the flag. The HOA is grateful to Mr. Klein's son and his service to our country, and we certainly understand the love, pride, and appreciation Mr. Klein and his wife must have for their son. The HOA only asked Mr. Klein to please display the U.S. Marine Corps flag in the same respectful manner required under the American Flag Code for the National Flag — in a flag holder or bracket on his front porch or any other befitting manner, not hung as drapery. Alternatively, the HOA asked Mr. Klein to please provide evidence suggesting that he was, in fact, displaying the flag in a respectful manner."

Klein took exception to the characterization that he's disrespecting the flag.

"Unless you’re a military family and unless you’ve been through what we’ve been through, you don’t have a lot of latitude to accuse us of something like that," he said.

Still, Klein told Petchenik that he will likely remove the flag instead of paying the $25 per day fine the HOA will levy if he doesn't. But Tart later told Petchenik the HOA decided not to fine the family.

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