The View 38002 June/July 2014 | Page 7

June/July 2014 Amen’s Angels Of Real Estate Honoring America’s Freedoms By Michelle Amen, REALTOR During this time of year, we all pay a little more focus on honoring our country and celebrating not only the American Dream but what America stands for- Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day are all reminders to us of how great this country is and how worthy it is to fight for. After the tragedies that have occurred on our own soil and all the lives lost in service to our country, can you believe that there are instances of discrimination against the American Flag in residential communities? Below I want to share with you parts of an article from WHMT 19 News in Huntsville, Alabama: “A request to remove an American flag has caused an Internet uproar and a Facebook sharing frenzy. A soldier and his wife who live at Stepping Stone Condominiums in Huntsville said they received a note from the complex Monday evening to remove the flag. The note said the flag violates the home owner’s association bylaws, and urged the couple to remove the flag ASAP to keep the community tidy. …A local group of concerned patriots caught drift of the debate and decided to congregate in front of the home and form a flag line in peaceful protest. The flustered [property manager] says,’…The only thing our manager did was send a letter on our behalf going by the bylaw saying that stuff on the outside is not allowed [and] the member of their management team who delivered the flag removal request was unaware at the time of “The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005”... Needless to say, there was peaceful protesting (along with quite a bit of harassment to the home association’s board members) but the association did eventually change their bylaws to be in accordance with Federal Law. But I want to make sure you know your rights as a current or future homeowner during this time of remembrance and celebration of our great country. The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 “…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 a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States 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.” Essentially, this prohibits home owners associations from adopting any laws that prevent (home-owning) residents from displaying the American Flag. Renters are excluded from this act and some allowances are made for certain types of building structures (think metropolitan high rises for example). So while we prepare for these holidays with cookouts, neighborhood parades and firework displays, let us rejoice in all our freedoms and those who have served and Fly High the American Flag! theview theview Page 7