HOA orders family to take down 'unapproved' American flag

A family is pushing back against their homeowners association over their display of the American flag.The flag...

Posted: Jun 28, 2018 3:34 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 3:34 PM

A family is pushing back against their homeowners association over their display of the American flag.

The flag in Jennifer Brant's yard has the Gadsen insignia with the words "Don't tread on me." According to the Keene Ranch HOA, that's in violation of its flag code. But the family said it's freedom of speech.

"I'm pretty shocked that such a small, petty thing would be addressed by the HOA," Brant said.

But Brant's flag looks a little different.

"It stands for a strong military," Brant said.

She purchased her flag from Amazon. The Gadsen Insignia, designed during the Revolutionary War, shows a rattlesnake, coiled up and ready to strike.

But some say over the years it's turned into a symbol against excessive government overreach -- and a warning to those attempting to infringe on those rights.

Brant's stance is not meant for the White House. Instead, she believes it's patriotic.

"It definitely came about big time after 9/11. Don't mess with us. We're a strong country, we're strong people. Leave us alone," Brant said.

According to Keen Ranch policy, protocols for the flag state, "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature."

She's received mixed reaction in the community.

"I've had lots of military personnel tell me they think it's fantastic, keep flying it. Then I've had some that say it's a disgrace," Brant said.

Brant recently received a violation letter from the HOA saying she must take it down or face a fine.

"I was just really angry, and I reached out via email and contested it," Brant said.

The HOA provided a statement on the issue.

"Ms Brant did receive a violation notice for flying her unapproved flag which includes a snake and text over the stars and stripes. Keene Ranch is a covenant controlled community. Our policy only allows the flying of the US Flag and/or a state flag. This policy has been in place since August, 2015 with no issues. She flew the approved US flag for years without incident. However, she has, since May, continued to fly her unapproved flag which many in the community found to be offensive. We have requested that she take her flag down and replace it with an approved flag."

A mile down the road in the HOA, a Blue Lives Matter flag was seen flying.

"I do feel like that's selective enforcement -- it's the same idea of freedom of speech," Brant said.

The HOA didn't answer that question, but for Brant, she said her flag is historical and should be within the guidelines of this community.

"I have shirts, I have flags over on the side there in my garden -- they're all American flags. So unless we specify, it is private property," Brant said.

Brant is waiting to hear back from the HOA board to schedule a hearing date to fight the issue.

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