- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

Two U.S. military veterans are making national headlines for their fight to fly the American flag.

A Georgia homeowners association recently informed U.S. Navy veteran Tom Wilder and Air Force veteran Pete Rockett that American flags flown outside 23 designated holidays constitute a threat to the “aesthetic and architectural theme of the community.” The men told Fox News Channel on Thursday that they are ready for a legal fight.

“How can you say that the American flag detracts from the looks, the aesthetics of a community?” Mr. Rockett said during a “Fox & Friends” appearance. “They treat it by limiting it to the holidays as if it’s a decoration — like Christmas decorations. You can put up your Christmas decorations on these days. The American flag is not a decoration. It’s a symbol, and it’s a symbol of a lot of things, to a lot of people. I fly it because I served. I fly it because a lot of my buddies served and lost their lives. I fly it because my father-in-law and my father served. My son-in law has done five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan already. It would be a travesty to take that flag down.”

The Village at Towne Lake Homeowners Association’s list of approved holidays includes Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Mother’s Day, although Father’s Day did not make the cut.

Mr. Rocket said he was “dismayed” at the warning letter because there seemed to be no issue with his flag just one year ago.

“My wife and I mounted one on our house,” he said. “We had one on our house all of our lives. We were shocked a couple of months again when we got a letter saying we were in violation of the covenants, and that we needed to take the flag down. I did not take the flag down, and it’s still up.”

“I’m not gonna take it down,” added Mr. Wilder. “I fought for our flag and our country, and I will continue to fight for our flag and our country — no matter what.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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