Army Veteran Fights HOA for Right to Fly the Flag

HOA flag disputeA 77-year-old Army veteran in Macedonia, Ohio, is fighting for the right to raise the American flag in his front yard.

Fred Quigley, a retired Army chaplain and minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, is being threatened with legal action because his flag violates his homeowners association's rules on flagpoles. As an alternative, the HOA offered to place the flag at the entrance of the development.

Quigley (pictured above at his home) refused.

"It's the principal," Quigley told AOL Real Estate during a phone interview. "It's about patriotism, and the soldiers I've had to hold as they were dying. It's just important to me to be bold with the flag."

And according to Quigley's attorney, Gerald Patronite, the HOA has no right to stop his client. Patronite cites a 2003 state statute that addresses the homeowner's rights in such a dispute. "Essentially, no deed restriction or association can abridge this right to display the flag," he told AOL Real Estate.

Patronite said that the HOA's rules state that a flag can only be displayed if affixed to the home. But doing so, he said, would force Quigley to hoist a much smaller flag.

flag dispute hoaQuigley's daughter, Karen Wilson, said that she doesn't understand how anyone could deny her father the right to raise the flag.

"It's a standard 15-foot pole, a 3-by-5 flag," Wilson said. "It's not outlandish, it's not over-the-top, and it fits in with the house."

Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowner's association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, did not return our calls. He did, however, tell a local news affiliate that he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed.

"We just want the rules and regulations followed," Migliorini told NewsNet5. "We're not gonna have rogue homeowners that are going to just do what they want to do and not get approval."

This is not the first time that homeowners have clashed with an HOA over the right to display the flag. In Idaho, the dispute ended in a public apology from a homeowners association that prohibited flags in "common areas." In that case, the "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act" of 2005 was cited to uphold the homeowner's right.

On Wednesday, members of the local American Legion post joined Quigley (pictured left) in a flag-raising ceremony in protest of the association's policy. Quigley said that he's been given until Monday to remove the flag, or further legal action will be taken by the HOA.

"As a minister and a chaplain, I have fought for people," Quigley said. "Now I fight for myself."

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, a motion has not yet been filed against Fred Quigley, according to his daughter, Karen Wilson. The flag is still flying atop the flagpole, she told AOL Real Estate via email. A second flag raising ceremony has been scheduled for July 4.

UPDATE X2: On Friday, July 1, Karen Wilson announced that the HOA relented, granting retired Army veteran Fred Quigley the right to fly his flag in the front yard of his home.

Read more about homeowners associations.

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