Display of American Flag in Deed Restricted Communities
SACRAMENTO -- A bill that would prevent homeowners' associations from banning flag displays is sitting on the governor's desk awaiting a signature.
A spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis said he doesn't know whether Davis will sign the bill, but the governor signed a similar bill earlier this week and came out swinging the day after the Pledge of Allegiance was ruled unconstitutional.
The bill, by Sen. Dick Monteith, R-Modesto, came in response to stories of people living under homeowner-association rules being told to take down flags erected in the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Republican Monteith, who is running for Congress, said his bill would only protect actual flag flying, not "painting your house red, white and blue or having neon lights flashing in your window."
The bill passed both houses unanimously.
"It's extremely important that all Americans, regardless of where they live, be given the right to fly the American flag," the senator said.
A spokesman for Davis said the bill may not be "on the governor's radar right now," but added that Davis on Monday signed a bill giving employees the right to display or wear the flag at work. "The governor's opinion on allowing people to express their patriotism is well known," spokesman Russ Lopez said.
puts patriotism over property restrictions
By Will Shuck
"It's not a blue flamingo. It's not a clothesline," Montieth said Wednesday during a gathering at a veterans memorial on the grounds of the state Capitol. "It's always been great taste to fly the flag."
He crafted his legislation after learning that some would-be flag wavers in the wake of the Sept. 11 hijacking attacks were curtailed or fined by property managers. Homeowners associations say they haven't singled out reasonable displays of patriotism but have moved to prevent oversized presentations.
"The American flag is not a nuisance, the people who would prevent the display of the American flag are the real nuisance," said Sen. Rico Oller, R-San Andreas.
Montieth introduced to the crowd of war veterans, political operatives and Reserve Officers Training Corps members a Sacramento-area man who was outraged that he had been forbidden from erecting a 20-foot flag pole in front of his home in an association-controlled subdivision named Independence.
Among a group of veterans who had come to show support for the bill was Vietnam War nurse Shirley Shaw, 58, of Rocklin.
"I think we have to represent the tens of thousands who died for that flag and cannot be here today," she said.
A troop of teenage ROTC students from a north Sacramento high school were touring the Capitol grounds when they happened on the gathering. The uniformed youths listened to speeches by Montieth and other Republican lawmakers and quickly formed opinions.
"They should be able to fly the flag," said Ed Bain, 16.
"You don't have to, but if you want to, you should," offered Lee Flowers, 15.
"You have the right as an American," said 14-year-old Robert Brooks. "You shouldn't be held back."
Monteith's bill will be heard Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
|Senate Bill SB2032 - California
BILL NUMBER: SB 2032 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 10, 2002
FEBRUARY 22, 2002
An act to add Section 1353.5 to the Civil Code, and to amend Section 434.5 of the Government Code, relating to the United States flag.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 2032, as amended, Monteith. Display of the United States flag.
prohibits any person, private entity, or governmental agency from adopting
rules, regulations, or ordinances, or entering into any agreement or covenant,
preventing any person or private entity who would otherwise have the legal
right to display a flag of the United States on private property from exercising
that right, unless it is used as, or in conjunction with, an advertising
display, subject to specified conditions. The term "legal right"
is defined for this purpose to mean the freedom of use and enjoyment generally
exercised by owners and occupiers of land.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to provide for
all of the following:
(b) As used
in this section, "legal right" means the freedom of use and enjoyment generally
exercised by owners and occupiers of land. For purposes of
this subdivision, an "owner and occupier of land" includes, but is not
limited to, an owner of a separate interest in a common interest development,
as defined in subdivision
in this section shall be construed to prevent a city, county, or city and
county from imposing reasonable restrictions as to the time, place, and
manner of placement or display of a flag of the United States when
necessary for the preservation of the public's health, safety, or order.
However, no restrictions solely to
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