This week, a homeowners association in Texas issued a warning to a Fort Hood soldier, stating that he would be fined if he failed to take down the American flag outside his home.
The soldier, Army Sergeant Chris Link, spoke to KCEN-TV, stating; “They said you can’t have a flagpole and so I took it off the flagpole and then the HOA president who lives right down the street still told me that I can’t fly my flag, period.”
Sergeant Link told the station that he received an email from the association on Wednesday. The email stated that the flagpole with the American flag was a violation of the association’s rules, and that the flag can only be displayed on specific days, including Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day.
He stated, “That flag means more to me than a lot of people realize. That’s the only reason I joined the Army; was to fight for my country because I love that flag and everything that flag stands for.”
Sergeant Link took down the flag and opted to hang it on his porch. He then informed the association that he had a right to display the flag, and that he was protected by the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005.
However, the association responded, “You cannot display your flag. We have gone through this with a number of homeowners. Please remove it, or I will have your fine sent out today.”
According to the association’s president, the owner of the house Sergeant Link was renting had also asked for the flag to be removed. The president communicated this to Link through an email.
It read; “The owner was the one that ask(ed) me to send him pictures of his home and yes, he said for you to remove the flag. When the owner of the property say(s) do something, you comply. Sorry you (feel) that we are unpatriotic. I served 28 years in the military, but the HOA has its own by-laws that will be followed and you will follow them like everyone else, no exception.”
When the station reached out to the association, they responded that they did allow flag poles attached to the houses. However, these had to be approved first. They also maintained that the owner of the house did not approve of the flag pole being attached to the house.
Sergeant Link’s neighbors raised their own flags to support him.
Clifford Devaul, a neighbor and veteran, told KCEN-TV, “I don’t think anybody who has a home in the United States of America should be told they can’t fly the colors, the flag for that same country they’re residing in.”