By Zane Wilson
lawmaker pushes for right to fly U.S.flag
Courtesy of The Sun News
Friday, May. 17, 2002
COLUMBIA — A Piedmont lawmaker got so angry
when she read about a North Myrtle Beach incident in which a man was ordered
to remove his U.S. flag that she rushed a law through the S.C. House to
prevent such a thing from happening again.
Rep. Becky Meacham-Richardson, R-Fort
Mill, read about homeowner Mike Kaminsky being ordered to remove the flag
from his residence. The homeowners' association later relented temporarily.
"That made me so mad," Meacham-Richardson
said. "It just incensed me that a
homeowners' association would go to that
Her bill, co-sponsored by 108 of the House
members including everyone from Horry and Georgetown counties, would make
it illegal to put in a lease or rental contract that a resident can't fly
a U.S. flag, or for a homeowners' association to forbid it as part of their
"It's our flag. It's everybody's flag.
We should never not be allowed to fly it," Meacham-Richardson said.
She said she flies her flag at her house
every day and that she also lives in an area governed by a homeowners'
association and would not want to be told to take her flag down.
The measure allows for flags no larger
than 3-by-5 feet.
She introduced the bill Tuesday and it
passed Thursday, which is unusually fast. No one opposed her motion to
consider it without referring it to a committee.
"That's unbelievable. That's great," Kaminsky
said Thursday when told about the bill.
"I am very touched. I guess it made the
whole thing worthwhile."
But it's too late to get the Senate to
take up a new House bill, without a two-thirds vote. Meacham-Richardson
said she's confident she can get the necessary vote for the Senate to take
up the bill and pass it before the session ends June 6.
Rep. Tracy Edge, R-North Myrtle Beach,
said he would help her.
Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association adopted
a rule forbidding flying any flags. When Kaminsky did not remove his flag,
the group said it would fine him $25 a day.
The association later said it would put
up a flag at its clubhouse instead, and residents could fly their own flags
only on certain days.
Bill Wrenn, president of Fairway Oaks Homeowners
Association, could not be reached for comment.