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OT - An Outrage and Disgrace in My State


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http://www.nbc12.com/Global/story.asp?S=11487556

War hero's flagpole at odds with neighbors

 

By Andy Jenks

Posted by Terry Alexander

 

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – When Col. Van T. Barfoot raises the American flag, it's a special moment, in a life that's full of them.

“Just, one of the most beautiful things we've got on our side. It really is,” said Col. Barfoot.

In 1944, as a 25-year-old, he received the military's highest award: the Medal of Honor, for an act of heroism in World War Two. That makes him now, at age 90, a living legend.

To put that in perspective, when Col. Barfoot attends a Veterans Day service, he's the only one to receive a standing ovation. So when he was told that flying his American flag this way could lead to a fine of up to $10 a day, it was all so confusing.

“To tell me that I can't fly that now, after 90 years is a little bit, more than I can really just sit back and take it,” he said.

Colonel Barfoot and the homeowner's board where he lives are at odds. The by-laws don't permit flagpoles...most neighbors just attach flags to the front of their houses. But the colonel doesn't believe in flying the flag any other way. His daughter wrote the board, hoping for a one-time exception.

“I presented the one and only exception that I thought would never ever happen again, and that was having a Medal of Honor recipient living in this community,” said Margaret Nichols, Col. Barfoot’s daughter.

The request was politely denied. The colonel raised his flag anyway.

“That's my dad. Ha-ha. He's never run from a fight in the past and he’s not gonna run from this one,” said Margaret.

He says it will "stay" that way, for as long as he lives in the house.

“I feel that I’ve earned the right to have it fly...regardless of what they say,” said Col. Barfoot.

The board has thanked Col. Barfoot for his bravery and service to the country, but maintains that the flagpole is against a longstanding neighborhood policy. If the fines actually do come down, several other people have offered to pay them.

 

 

______________________________

 

 

More information on Col. Barfoot

 

http://dailynightly.msnbc.com/2007/05/medal_of_honor__5.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_T._Barfoot

 

Medal of Honor citation

 

Second Lieutenant Barfoot's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a
hand grenade
, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his
tommygun
killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing
Mark VI
tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the
track
of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the
breech
. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.
[4]

Later Life

In December of 2009 the homeowner's association (HOA) of the neighborhood in which Mr. Barfoot lives, Sussex Square in Henrico County Virginia, ordered him to remove the flagpole from which he daily flies the American flag. At this time Mr. Barfoot is 90 years old. The HOA has retained a lawyer to assist in enforcing their order. The bylaws of the HOA had no statute forbidding flagpoles but specifically ruled that Mr. Barfoot not be allowed to continue to use his to fly the flag for aesthetic reasons.
[5]

 

_______________________________________

Blooduscking Law Firm Representing the HOA Board.

http://www.coateslaw.com/CM/Custom/Contact.asp

Edited by tucker301
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YUP, ill agree w/ ya it is truly an outrage!!:confused: sorry to hear it TUCKER!! but this also just goes to show you how much more the LIBTARDS in this country are truly out to take away ALL our freedoms and RUIN this country from within!!!:mad: just like in the schools, NO MORE christmas pagents??? WTF??? it was never a bad thing when the people who are trying to rid the schools of anything christmas were little and in school!!! it didnt seem to stop them from being what they wanted to be or stop them from achieving anything in life??? yet they choose to cram down OUR throats what THEY believe now that they are adults!!!!!!!!!!!! its All just a F--CKING DISGRACE!!!!

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YEAH!! agreed here!!!;) its funny they want to limit what an ex-soldier does w/ his flag EVEN THOUGH HE made it possible for THEM to even have their STUPID ASSOCIATION!!!:mad:

 

Ex soldier or not you should able to hang the flag if you an American. Truely dumb.

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Skeeter,

This isn't about liberals or Conservatives.

It's simply a matter of respecting what a true hero has done for his country.

 

Go find another stump from which to spew your backwards political drivel and stop using this great man's honor as a launching pad for same.

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Skeeter,

This isn't about liberals or Conservatives.

It's simply a matter of respecting what a true hero has done for his country.

 

Go find another stump from which to spew your backwards political drivel and stop using this great man's honor as a launching pad for same.

im the type that actually respects the soldier as your type has not!! proven fact!!

and lets test your comment. how about you find out how many of the board members of that HOA are democrats/republicans-liberal/conservatives. im curious to know, and ill bet you the majority of them ARE demo/libtards!! prove me wrong.;)

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I have actually had the honor of meeting a Medal Of Honor recipient and shaking his hand. He was a belly gunner on a B-17 during W***. Even at his advance age, he is still a petite man with a giant warm smile. When they read his citation, their wasn't a dry eye in the hanger and then our local congressman presented him with a high honor from France. I just don't understand how anybody can look one of these real American heroes straight in the eye and say he can't fly his flag on a flag pole. Total disrespectful to a degree I can't fathom. Shame on that association.

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Disgusting. "will not be allowed for aesthetic reasons."

 

What that ******** means is that his flag pole ahs an American flag on it and others don't and they want that neat, socialist, cookie-cutter appearance. No wonder a symbol of freedom is "aesthetically" displeasing.

Edited by Unobtanium
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I am good for $300, to pay his fine for a month so he can fly his flag. My grandfather was a W*** vet and my son-in-law to be, is a C-130 pilot, they and others have more than earned the right.

yup, im with ya!!! i'd also donate the dough for a months fines as well. imagine if enough people sent him $$, he could tell them to pound sand and just keep paying the fines!!!

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Contractual obligations via a HOA. The man signed onto the contract, and is now whining about it. Oh boo-hoo.

 

"The bylaws of the HOA had no statute forbidding flagpoles but specifically ruled that Mr. Barfoot not be allowed to continue to use his to fly the flag for aesthetic reasons."

 

^Taken from the original post.

 

No, there was probably some bullsh1t nebulous "conformity" clause in fine print that the old guy didn't bother to read. Do you honestly read EVERY small word on your appartment or whatever contracts? Even the ones not dealing with the financial part?

 

If you read it even CLOSER it states that the FLAG ITSELF is the problem...Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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The bylaws of the HOA had no statute forbidding flagpoles but specifically ruled that Mr. Barfoot not be allowed to continue to use his to fly the flag for aesthetic reasons.[5]

 

Wha? I can see that they'd have legal right if it was specifically forbidden (not that it would make it right) but without the flagpole being prohibited at all? Last year (or the year before) a Marine got a reprieve from him HOA based on public outcry alone. Hope something simliar happens in this case.

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I just don't understand how anybody can look one of these real American heroes straight in the eye and say he can't fly his flag on a flag pole. Total disrespectful to a degree I can't fathom. Shame on that association.

 

It's very likely that some the ruling members of one of these so-called "communities", dislikes America in general and could care less about the flag.

 

It's the new America, not necessarily improved. Not all all a patriots, unfortunately. :mad:

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There is something that is ''just wrong'' when an American citizen is denied the right to display a flag anywhere!! Prohibiting a Medal Of Honor winner from doing so is a complete travesty. Mr. Barfoot is a Hero. He deserves better. He and his kind earned this right for me. The HOA should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to be part of community rules. This violates everything our great Constitution stands for. Shame on them...

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There is something that is ''just wrong'' when an American citizen is denied the right to display a flag anywhere!!

 

They aren't denying him that right, which is actually protected by law.

What they're denying him is the ability to display the flag on the pole mount, rather than a smaller porch mount.

 

If his lawyer is worth a damn, he or she will argue that the US code offers strict guidelines on how the flag is to be displayed, and that he is well within those guidelines.

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They aren't denying him that right, which is actually protected by law.

What they're denying him is the ability to display the flag on the pole mount, rather than a smaller porch mount.

I stand corrected.:o Flag pole or no flag pole, this guy has earned the right to fly it any which way he likes. I also agree that his lawyer should be able to clear this all up. It really should have never gotten this far. Kudo's Mr. Barfoot!

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Being able to fly the American flag isn't an entitlement that's special because he's a MOH winner. MOH awardees can't rob banks and last I checked the civil contracts (HOA for one) they engage in are still enforceable. It just makes a better news story to contrast the sacrifice someone has made for the country and being "unable" to fly the flag. Some of you may remember Donald Trump was sued by a HOA for precisely the same thing. The story asserts an irony I don't think exists. Don't be media pawns -- so many elements critical to passing judgement are missing here. To name just a few, 1) How big is the pole and the flag. 2) Is this guy a total ******* and truly unwilling to seek a reasonable compromise? Sounds like he just blew off the HOA. This man deserves respect, LOTS of respect, but not a waiver to do whatever he wishes.

 

 

 

People agree to follow rules and then break them all the time. I agree that the HOA probably has no issue with the US flag and it's a bold assumption to think them automatically unpatriotic. It's probably about a VERY large flag pole best suited for a public bldg rather than a home. While it's not something I can even imagine noticing, let alone protesting, someone is always on the hook to enforce "the rules." I suspect this also contains this element: that letting one rule to be broken undermines the ability to enforce any of the others. I'd hope they amend their rules to allow this flag to be flown but see their side too.

 

By the way, there is no US Code on how one can fly a flag. The Flag Code is a collection of suggestions and traditions one SHOULD opt to abide by, but there is ample case law to support penalty free defacing of our flag if one so desires. Ever seen one set afire? I find an abomination, but I've read stories of a certain faction of people in this country currently flying the flag upside down and planning to do it every day until Obama leaves office.

Edited by BigHat
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Fighting for the American way of life doesn't automatically mean you can do what you want in America.

 

We are talking about flying a flag here, not murder. I understand the ''rules are rules'' part. The part I don't get is, having a bonafide war hero, who is proud of his flag and country, not being allowed to display the flag in this manner. There are exceptions to rules, and rules are made to be broken. A little common sense would go a long way.

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Fighting for the American way of life doesn't automatically mean you can do what you want in America.

 

We are talking about flying a flag here, not murder. I understand the ''rules are rules'' part. The part I don't get is, having a bonafide war hero, who is proud of his flag and country, not being allowed to display the flag in this manner. There are exceptions to rules, and rules are made to be broken. A little common sense would go a long way.

 

Hognutz,

I edited that out after you quoted it but before you posted. I agree it was a poor choice of words and easily taken in a way unintended, which is why I clipped it.

 

I couldn't agree more with the common sense aspect that is obviously missing. In 26 years in the USMC I worked with a couple of Vietnam era MOH winners. They were very humble people that sought to fit in. I suspect this has more to do with being 90 and very set in his ways than it does being a MOH winner. The point is the HOA is being vilified in this story that only contains a narrow range of the facts in play. For example, what would the comments be here if the members of said HOA were all disabled veterans??

 

Long ago I developed a healthy distrust for press and no longer take anything they write or say at face value. I've read too many errors and distortions in accounts of issues I was very well versed in. It was only natural to conclude that it would be foolish to accept their perspective on stories I knew nothing or little about, even when the story seemed to support something I strongly supported, such as patriotic support of our country.

Edited by BigHat
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They aren't denying him that right, which is actually protected by law.

What they're denying him is the ability to display the flag on the pole mount, rather than a smaller porch mount.

 

If his lawyer is worth a damn, he or she will argue that the US code offers strict guidelines on how the flag is to be displayed, and that he is well within those guidelines.

 

I think Tucker nailed it. As long as the flag is being displayed in accordance to the Flag Code there is a specific law protecting the home owner from the HOA.

 

That HOA better have some good lawyers!

 

The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 prohibits a condominium, cooperative, or real estate management association from adopting or enforcing any policy or agreement that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag in accordance with the Federal Flag Code on residential property to which the member has a separate ownership interest.

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-42

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I think Tucker nailed it. As long as the flag is being displayed in accordance to the Flag Code there is a specific law protecting the home owner from the HOA.

 

That HOA better have some good lawyers!

 

The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 prohibits a condominium, cooperative, or real estate management association from adopting or enforcing any policy or agreement that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag in accordance with the Federal Flag Code on residential property to which the member has a separate ownership interest.

 

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-42

 

You possibly stopped reading a little too early:

 

SEC. 4. LIMITATIONS.

Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with--

(1) any provision of chapter 1 of title 4, United States Code, or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag of the United States (as established pursuant to such chapter or any otherwise applicable provision of law); or

(2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.

 

So I guess this will boil down to what's a "reasonable" size flag and probably more importantly, what's a reasonably sized flag pole in this development.

 

This is what we call "feel good" legislation. If it was based on an incident, it was probably the flying of the flag period and that doesn't appear to be the case here.

Edited by BigHat
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My father was a W *** Vet and i respect him very much. That being said I just don't see the connection to them wanting him to follow the rules and making them unpatriotic... or liberal for that matter (Extremely unsubstantiated and i would believe the burden of proof would be on the one making the accusation). Think of it from a legal standpoint if they allow him to raise a flag on a pole, then they would really have to allow everyone else to as well... one time exceptions i don't think usually end up being one time. Someone could argue the same points for raising a flag pole of some other nation or group. and then the HOA would start having to let everyone do it.

 

Ask yourself... would you feel the same about this issue if someone raised a Mexican flag on a flagpole in their yard? If you can't seem to have the same amount of zeal to protect this person's rights to speech as the guy raising the American flag then your motives are all mixed up.

 

The HOA's issue is not about patriotism it's about stupid legal crap and keeping property value up.

Edited by Renault
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