A northeast Florida man is battling his homeowners association over the right to fly a flag honoring America’s wounded warriors in his back yard..
According to local television and newspaper reports, Thomas Bagnoli, a resident of the Grand Haven community in Palm Coast Florida, has run up fines totaling $1,000 because he refuses to take down a flag for the Wounded Warriors Project, a service organization for veterans.
“I wanted to stand up for something, which I thought was important, not only to me, but all these kids, men and women fighting over there,” Bagnoli told the news station WFTV in Orlando.
Bagnoli has an unlisted number and could not be reached Wednesday, but he told the Palm Coast Observer he put up the flag last year after becoming a contributor to the service organization.
“I just thought it would it be a perfect thing under the (U.S.) flag to show people that this organization exists,” he said. “All I wanted to do is keep this flag up until all of our guys are home and safe.”
The problem was in the placement. Under Grand Haven homowners association rules, flags allowed to be flown in back yards are restricted to American flags, a flag for a branch of the armed forces or a POW/MIA flag.
Virtually any flags are allowed in front yards, but Bagnoli said he wants to keep the Wounded Warriors Project flag flying with his American flag. A 13-year resident of the community, he appealed to Grand Haven’s Architectural Design Committeefor permission to do so, but was turned down.
“He says, you ‘got to take it down or you’re going to get a $100 a day fine,'” Bagnoli told WFTV/
The Grand Haven Master Association did not return a message left by BizPac Review on Wednesday.
Bagnoli said he doesn’t understand the problem.
“I just don’t feel that it’s logical that they would be against these things when there are flags on people’s balconies for the Boston Red Sox,” he told the Observer. “They’re just following the rules of the community, but they do have some leeway.”
Regardless, Bagnoli said he’s not budging.
“I’m just going to stick with what I feel is right,” he told the Observer. “It’s not a Republican flag or a Democratic Party flag. It’s a flag for the soldiers.”
Check out the WFTV report here.
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