Friday, May 21, 2010

WWII Vet Fights for the Right to Fly the Flag

Once again a shameless, vexatious order comes down from above (in this case, a property rental company) that denies an American citizen the right to fly his country's flag. And why? Apparently, to keep things looking tidy, uniform and dull.

EJL Management, the New Hampshire rental company that served up this mean-spirited order, actually went further and removed the flags and the brackets from the citizens' homes. The company defended their action by claiming the flags violate a blanket policy "prohibiting such displays."

Such displays? What exactly that means the bureaucratic boobs at EJL Management fail to explain -- except to remind the tenants that they can't have barbecue grills or lawn ornaments either. Fun landlords, huh?

There oughta' be a law against such ham-handed bullies, right?

There is.

Because there were so many of these flag prohibitions popping up, Congress passed the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act back in 2005. The law states clearly that "a condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent an association member from displaying the U.S. flag on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use."

And, yes, renters who meet the conditions of the lease, qualify for "exclusive use."

Meaning that it was EJL Management that was breaking the law, not renters like WWII veteran Joe LeVangie whose flag and brackets were removed from the front of his house.

But Joe, knowing that liberty must always be fought for, did just that. The 88-year old Navy man (who observes proper flag etiquette, by the way) complained and got the media involved which not only brought the meanness of EJL Management into the light but also won the support of the Hillsborough Police Association and American Legion Post 59.

The result? Joe's flag and those of his patriotic friends in the complex will proudly fly again.

Here's the story and video clip from WMUR.