- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2015

Residents of a small community in Murray, Utah, are outraged after their homeowners association began fining them for flying American flags outside their homes.

Homeowners living in Chestnut Place said they were free to fly their flags without restrictions, but that recently changed after the HOA president determined that flags are holiday decorations, a local Fox News affiliate reported.

“After the last board meeting, we were leaving and two members of the board and a resident said they were tired of looking at the flag,” said Jo Ann Dugay, who is one of the five board members on the HOA. “They said ‘is this flag row?’ And that something needed to be done about it.”

Last week, a notice was sent out warning homeowners to take the flags down.

“I’m not taking it down, that’s one thing I won’t do,” said resident Erin Worthen.

As a result, she was fined $75 and given a notice, saying, “All exterior decorations must be removed within 10 days following the holiday… Please remove your flag from the common area (Utah Community Association Act. 57-8a-219),” Fox reported.

Ms. Worthen was outraged by the wording of the letter.

“People have died for that, it is not a holiday decoration,” she said.

HOA President Lyn Steinbergen defended her decision to enforce the fine Thursday. She said she was tired of seeing all of the flags, not just the American flag, being flown year-round.

“Flags are flown on holiday events,” she told Fox. “All we are trying to do is regulate when the flag goes up, and when it comes down.”

Homeowners were hoping to address the issue at an HOA meeting scheduled for Thursday night, but it was canceled at the last minute over a missing member, Fox reported.

Some homeowners, who had already gathered at the meeting, felt the HOA was deliberately ignoring the issue.

“I have a legal right to fly my American flag, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it,” yelled Ms. Worthen.

Other homeowners at Thursday night’s meeting asked for a special meeting to be held at a later date. They are looking for the opportunity to vote off members of the board, Fox reported.

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