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Thursday, July 21, 2011

HOA Mistakes Military Flag For Towel, Fines Homeowner.

Courtesy wsbtv.com

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A fight over a military flag has one North Fulton County family at odds with its homeowner's association.

John and Rosana Klein's son, Brendan, is serving in the Marine Corps.

To honor him, they hung a Marine Corps flag in a window facing their Aven Court home.

"A week after we put it up, we got a notice from the HOA," Klein told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik.

The notice told Klein that the HOA had received complaints about a "towel" hanging in the window, and asking him to remove it because it was in violation of the Avensong Community's covenants.

“I’m not sure how you mistake any military flag for a towel," said Klein. "We want to make it clear it’s not a towel; it's Marine Corps flag."After Klein informed the HOA of the misunderstanding, he said he received another email telling him to remove the flag from the window and to put it into a proper flag holder.

Avensong Community Association president Alan Tart sent Petchenik a statement about the flag flap:

"The HOA made it very clear to Mr. Klein that it had no problem with him displaying the flag. The HOA is grateful to Mr. Klein's son and his service to our country, and we certainly understand the love, pride, and appreciation Mr. Klein and his wife must have for their son. The HOA only asked Mr. Klein to please display the U.S. Marine Corps flag in the same respectful manner required under the American Flag Code for the National Flag - in a flag holder or bracket on his front porch or any other befitting manner, not hung as drapery. Alternatively, the HOA asked Mr. Klein to please provide evidence suggesting that he was, in fact, displaying the flag in a respectful manner."
Klein took exception to the characterization that he's disrespecting the flag.

"Unless you’re a military family and unless you’ve been through what we’ve been through, you don’t have a lot of latitude to accuse us of something like that," he said.

Still, Klein told Petchenik that he will likely remove the flag instead of paying the $25 per day fine the HOA will levy if he doesn't. When asked if he'll put the flag on a pole, he said he'd rather send it to his son.

“It might be disappointing to other military families or Marines to hear we might take the flag down, but that’s what we plan to do because money spent for a fine is better spent elsewhere," he said.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Vote American! Elect Lance Large!

Anonymous said...

Why was it o.k.that others could keep Xmas candles lit all year long day and night in their windows and they didn't keep a letter.

I think the HOA needs to revamp their rules. So Alan do you think you will get re-elected after this episode?

Anonymous said...

Idiots! Go fight something worth fighting instead of picking on patriotic Americans or military families.

Anonymous said...

is lance large alans partner?

Anonymous said...

Do you not find the timing of recent news about Alan Tart to be questionable?

Anonymous said...

Here is my take. My family and friends want to know why I am sick and tired. Well here it is. America has become one big dousche. Politically correct Congress and now homeowners associations. The couple can have a couple of butt banging buddies living right beside them, but God forbid them to fly their flag in honor of their son and the commitment for America's safety.

Darcy; Proud Avensong Resident said...

Thank you Alan! While this may be an unfortunate misunderstanding I am grateful to Alan Tart for helping keep Avensong a community that I am proud to live in. As the daughter of a military veteran I also appreciate your commitment to proper display of the military flag.

Mr. Klein, you should be proud of your son and I wish you would display the flag proudly in a manner befitting the USMC. Not only in his honor but in honor of all military personnel; if the "money better spent elsewhere" is an issue, I would be happy to contribute toward a pole and flag to replace the one sent to your son.

Please remember that the HOA can only do so much - as homeowners we have to take pride and ownership in our community.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

i present darcy the nimby ladies and gents

Mike said...

Wow, after reading these comments, I wasn't sure if this was Milton or Toothless Town, West Virginia.

A flag should be flown with respect. Period. A $5.00 pole attached to a dwelling is proper and not too far of a reach for the HOA.

If you don't like living with rules that are designed to protect the "hood," then get yourself a double-wide out on a couple of acres and learn the banjo while sitting on your couch on the front porch.

It's so easy to comment here, but I bet none of you would say what you have, in front of the TV cameras.

Anonymous said...

http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html

Show me where it says you can't hang a flag in a window?

Anonymous said...

§179. Design for service flag; persons entitled to display flag
The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to approve a design for a service flag, which flag may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of persons who are members of the immediate family of a person serving in the armed forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States may be engaged.

Mike said...

Anonymous, per your link, you appear correct. Please note, I'm from the old school that advises the following and would never place a flag in a window out of respect not only for the flag, but what it represents. I do not find it proper to wear the flag, nor hang it in a window but if people are too lazy to place it on a pole, go for it. Just because it's tolerated that someone wears "F-U" T-shirts at Walmart, still doesn't mean it's right.

Section: 176 (d) - Respect for the Flag...

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.

Anonymous said...

i believe both you and mr tart are miscontruing the defition of drapery and people have a right to wear furman university shirts at walmart if they so choose

Anonymous said...

also, this isn't the U.S. Flag we are talking about here

Mike said...

It's still a flag that should receive the utmost respect.

Anonymous said...

If the communist flag of China was in that window what would the HOA do?

Or a Rainbow flag? Or the Flag of the nation of Mexico?

Ya'll wouldn't have touched it with a ten foot flag pole!!!

Americans are the ones being attacked and discriminated in our own frikken country!!!

Mike said...

Anonymous, I just realized your rant is more than the flag story here. You obviously have an agenda, why don't you just come out of the closet and tell us what it is.

Anonymous said...

which anonymous? there are at least 5 of us here

Anonymous said...

I've taken the above post from 6:48 and e-mailed it to Councilman Tart for clarification.

Tend to agree that the term "drapery" has different contexts and would like to hear what Alan has to say before commenting.

Believe this probably could have been handled in a much better manner. I've seen much worse in Avensong.

Anonymous said...

Vote for Lance Large.

Anonymous said...

As a resident also, there is a reason ppl move to HOA'S...rules are rules, and is improper hanging/display of flag is improper if you don't like it I agree with the comment earlier to buy yourself a doublewide and move your butt out!! I don't see that the HOA disrespected Kliens motives at all. Another point is Avensong has a Mgmt Company that does these inspections, so why Tart is being attacked I'm not sure, as he is just the president of the HOA, which I believe is a volunteer position . We have much more pressing issues in our world rather than bickering over this! Klien, man do the right thing and get a flag pole or holder,and if we need to pitch in as neighb ors and buy you one we will. .

Anonymous said...

Mr. Klein is not the person writing all these remarks. I believe he is handling this as he has been asked to.. It's a marine flag. Why don't we all drive through Avensong this weekend and see what we don't like in there. Blue curtains, red curtains, stained glass in windows, etc., broken blinds. I think they need to THINK before they act sometimes. It must not have been approached in the correct way for it to end up on TV!!!!!!!

Travis Allen said...

8:15 AM was me.

Like I said earlier, I'd like to hear direct from Councilman Tart before commenting on whether he was right or wrong.

All I can say from my review is that I don't see where the code says a flag must be attached to a bracket or on a pole, just that it is treated with respect.

I didn't see the flag, so couldn't tell you how it was hanging, but a few points to ponder:

1. A drapery typically hangs from a bracket / pole.

2. The rule for a service flag makes no mention of how the flag is to be displayed, only that it may be displayed in a window.

Did the window also have draperies / blinds that were behind the flag? Again, I don't know, but sure would like to.

Anonymous said...

Yet another embarrassment for the City of Milton.

Anonymous said...

Are we dealing with Councilman Tart or HOA President Tart on the flag subject? Seems like some people(maybe one) on here are going after him personally and politically and to think it was about a flag in a subdivision, but now something much more.

Signed, Anonymous

Anonymous said...

where have you been avenhood has always been an embarrassment to the area there slogan should be
avenhood yep we gots da drugs.

Anonymous said...

I am a homeowner in Avensong and I have to agree with the HOA. Yes, I said the "HOA"...Alan is the representation of the HOA, elected by our community, and voluntarily gives his time. I am proud that he is diligent in his duties and respect him for all that he does...but you cannot place any blame on him. I come from a military family and am also in a relationship with a member of the military. I have the utmost respect and love for those that defend our freedom. And to show my appreciation of what they do, there is a flag, hanging from a flag pole, in front of my house. But have a little common sense people...rules are rules. No one is saying they do not honor the military or saying that you can't hang the flag...but you agreed to the HOA rules when you moved in. If you don't want to comply, then please move out. And saying that others are breaking the rules is not a revelation. And YES, they receive notices too.
Mr. Klein, I am saddened that you think because your son is in the military, you don't have to follow rules...and in turn, have brought negative publicity to our neighborhood.

Cyndi said...

I also live in Avensong and I am proud to be a part of the neighborhood. I am also a proud daughter of a retired Army 1st Sgt who volunteered for 3 tours in Vietnam and served his country proudly for a total of 25 years.

My father would never in a million years consider hanging a flag in the window, the flags that fly at his home are displayed and treated with the respect that they deserve. I am so pleased that this family is proud of their son and I thank him for his contribution to defending our freedom BUT I AGREE WITH THE HOA the flag should be displayed properly and not hung in a window.

I'm with Darcy if the cost is the only thing that prevents them from this,then I to will be happy to contribute in order to make it happen.

From everything going on in this world today is this really something we should be debating and fighting over? It seems small in comparison to the US debt ceiling, the unemployment rate, families losing their homes, and honoring our fallen military properly.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Anonymous said...

again:

§179. Design for service flag; persons entitled to display flag
The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to approve a design for a service flag, which flag

may be displayed in a window of the place of residence

of persons who are members of the immediate family of a person serving in the armed forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States may be engaged.

Evan Kennedy said...

This is ridiculous! Leave the man and his family alone. He is supporting our troops who have been fighting for our freedom and lives. Our U.S. military have been fighting too long and I think it is awesome that we have supporters like Mr. & Mrs. Klein. So Thank You and your son and keep up the great work. I support you 110%.

Sincerely,
Evan Kennedy of Chickamauga,GA

Anonymous said...

As an Avensong resident, I get why the HOA sent notice to the HO. The hanging DID look like rug or towel. I understand the sensitivity of the parents regarding their son’s fight for our freedom. The son now probably thinks we are a horrible neighborhood and our HOA president (Mr. Tart) is a horrible person. The media attention didn’t help. I wish the soldier’s parents had made us aware their son was serving. They would have found a supportive and patriotic group of people. Flags are properly displayed at our entrance on patriotic holidays and Milton does a Memorial Day service that is attended by many Avensong residents. A couple of years ago, the proud parents of a young man serving in Iraq hosted a welcome home party which was well attended by residents. Also, a resident with a family member in Afganistan has asked and gotten support (from Mr. Tart) for launching a neighborhood wide memorial on the upcoming 9/11 ten year anniversary. These are just the ones I know about.
I think the Klein’s should provide info so we can write letters of encouragement to their son and host a welcome home party upon his safe return. We'll all bring a dish. This neighborhood has improved greatly since Mr. Tart took the HOA (volunteer) position. Mr. Klein, PLEASE display the flag properly so we can all remember your son is serving. I will pray for him. The worst about all this is a good leader (Tart) could resign his position because he is being attacked (there go property values even more) and a wonderful young man, working hard and risking his like serving his country is missing out on the support of his community. Mr. Tart has extended the olive branch, please take it.

Anonymous said...

Another embarrassment for anyone to do with the American political stage. I am sure the councilman will say anything but the truth, since no politicians speak truth. They are all a bunch of traitors.

Anonymous said...

9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan, AVENHOOD.....FLY YOUR COLORS PROUDLY BROTHER! And to you people worried about how your precious little hood looks.... You people should be packed up and sent over seas.....let's see how long you last!

Anonymous said...

The mistake is thinking you live in a free country that is not under assault. The Flag and our Constitution and our very way of life. Obama yesterday at La Raza speech stated to the thunderous roar of his supporters that he is tempted to just do what he wants aside of congress. That's a dictatorship! What's frightening is the roar of the crowd in approval of him to ignore our congress and constitution.
The regular media doesn't report this stuff!!

This Flag issue is nothing compared to what we Americans are not paying close attention to let alone doing anything about.

Anonymous said...

Lance who?
Lance who gives a crap!

Anonymous said...

2:27 needs their own Obama forum for goodness sakes.

Anonymous said...

Just think, first remove Tart from council, wish someone was running against the "yes man" Hewitt. Than next election, remove a few more on up to mayor who is the worst of the bunch. We are just waiting.

Another Proud Avensong Owner thats loosing respect for others in this community. said...

Everyone I talk to in Avensong bitches about the HOA.....but yet, very few step up to do anything about it. This is a "HOME OWNERS" association....that means its run by home owners and each and everyone of you can choose to be a part of it...but you don't...just bitch when you don't agree.

How many of you showed at the last meeting? ..yeah that's what I thought....

Anonymous said...

Alan, quit blaming everyone in Avensong - this was your neighbor and your BIG mistake (amongst many others)!!