Courtesy of Capital Bay News:
Mike Merola erected a 20-foot flagpole in his backyard soon after he moved into his current home in March 2009. Merola, 60, a Marine from 1969 to 1977, has flown the American flag for years, typically replacing it twice a year to maintain its appearance.
But now, Merola’s homeowners’ association in Cypress, Texas, 40 minutes northwest of Houston, says he and his wife, Sylvia, need to stop. It filed a complaint last month saying its rules limit pole heights to six feet and only allow poles attached to residents’ homes.
See the full story here.
This man has served his country and settled down on a nice, quiet plot of land. But apparently his flag pole is an eye sore to neighbors. And neighbors with the gall to fine the man $100 per day for flying Old Glory! The lack of patriotism in this man’s neighborhood is surely something to make one’s heart sink. But even worse, they possess legal grounds to regulate what he does with his property. This is not a matter of zoning rights – Mr. Merola is not building a monstrous garage on his property. What the home owner’s association has done is effectively regulated private citizens’ usage of their own land. It is a corporation that has deemed how often one must cut their grass, how high a stone wall may be, and how one may fly our country’s flag. Home owner’s associations are a perversion of civil liberties; they are a town-within-a-town, and they are now so numerous that one would have difficulty finding a suburban home without such oppressive regulation weighing upon it. Working for a corporation, buying food from a corporation, and purchasing services from a corporation – these are all tolerable. But to live inside a corporation is not – it is to allow others to further regulate you on your own land and in your own home.