FLYING "OLD GLORY" ?
NOT IN TENNESSEE?
FLAG RIGHTS BILL PRESS CONFERENCE
The full text of press conference : September
Thank you all for coming today. This is a sad day for me and for patriotic Americans everywhere.
The board of directors of Fieldstone Farms, and the board president Mr. Jack Beaudoin, ordered me to remove this flagpole by Aug. 31st or face their fines. I refused under any circumstances to remove this flagpole before September 11th; therefore the board is now fining me. Mr. Beaudoin threatened further fines, lawsuits, court costs and attorney fees if I do not remove this flagpole. I have been able to keep this flag flying since the board first ordered it removed on November 13th of last year. If I continue, I risk my family's financial health and ultimately risk losing my home. Twelve months of fines would add up to $204,750.00. Therefore, today I have no choice but remove this flagpole.
This flag will be sent to a very dear friend of mine who is serving our country in the military. Sergeant Tony Pinto with the Army's 20th Special Forces was recently called up. Before he shipped out, Tony told me that if this flag ever had to come down, he would be proud to fly it over his unit wherever they may be sent. America is at war and at this very moment there are thousands of men and women in uniform in harm's way just like Tony wearing the flag proudly sewn on their shoulders.
The board of Fieldstone Farms chooses not
to differentiate between the flag of the United States and a happy birthday
flag, an Easter bunny flag or any other flag.
The covenants of Fieldstone Farms and the covenants of this neighborhood, Calumet, are silent on flags and flagpoles. Flags or flagpoles are not mentioned in the deed restrictions. The rule that controls flag display is only a rule of the board and could be changed by the board at any time. Jack Beaudoin and the board simply choose to not adjust their rule. They have decided to continue to dictate to the property owners of this development how, when and where we may display our American flags.
Thousands of Americans have given their
lives to protect our freedom. A handful of improperly elected neighborhood
officials controlling how, when and where we may display our flag is not
freedom. According to the rules of this board, a small flag on a
mailbox post, just as you see here, is not allowed in Fieldstone Farms.
The flag you see on the side of this mailbox is also against the rules
of this development. I have asked, formally applied, attended meetings
and appealed to allow this flagpole to
The state legislatures of California,
Florida, Arizona and South Carolina have all passed bills addressing
this issue and it is now illegal to varying degrees in those states for
community associations to forbid or restrict the display of the American
flag. Several other states have bills at some stage of the legislative