Homeowner Fights Outrageous Fine For Flying Flag

Photo credit: U.S. Army Europe Images (Creative Commons)

A Florida homeowner is battling local authorities over the selective targeting of a Wounded Warrior flag he chose to present on his own property. While the Grand Haven community permits residents to fly flags of virtually any other type, he is facing a hefty find and could face a possible lien against his property because of the display.

According to Thomas Bagnoli, the homeowners’ association issued him a $1,000 fine for the apparent violation, though he was shocked to find out he was being targeted.

“I wanted to stand up for something, which I thought was important,” he said in a subsequent interview, “not only to me, but all these kids, men and women fighting over there.”

Reports indicate that, if the fine is not paid within a certain period of time, the HOA can pursue a lien against his home.

“They can do whatever they want,” he asserted. “I’m doing what I want. I feel strongly about this.”

One wonders why flags promoting other issues – including sports teams – are allowed while Bagnoli’s tribute to injured soldiers was not. As of this writing, however, the Western Center for Journalism’s request for comment has not been returned.

Other national outlets began to spotlight this development Wednesday morning, which will undoubtedly bring undesired scrutiny on the HOA and the Grand Haven Master Association. While these administrators could easily relent and come to an agreement with Bagnoli, the homeowner plans to stand firm on his beliefs no matter the outcome.

“They say, ‘Sorry, you have to take it down,’” he said. “I refuse to.”

The flag has been up for more than a year, and he has never received even one complaint. If anything, the display has endeared him to his neighbors. One local volunteered to pay the fine provided he maintains his dedication to flying the flag.

“I get angry,” he explained. “I really do. I don’t understand why.”

In any event, he maintains it will not be Grand Haven’s decision regarding when he takes down the flag, explaining that will not happen at least until U.S. troops return from Afghanistan.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Photo credit: U.S. Army Europe Images (Creative Commons)

4 comments to Homeowner Fights Outrageous Fine For Flying Flag

  • Carolyne

    My sister was told by her HOA that she couldn’t fly the American flag. This was in Lexington KY. I told her to call the local TV stations and they did a piece on it. Her flag is still flying. I hope Mr. Bagnoli sticks to his guns and doesn’t take the WW flag down. Our military personnel who have been injured in the service of their country deserve every bit of honor we can give them, including flying this flag.

  • danstewart

    Everyone in that development should get a flag like this & fly it. I live in a country development with hoa of sorts, but they know that if they try something like this, they will probably get shot.

  • wildbill446

    just out of curiosity I wonder if anyone would get or be fined for flying a Al Qaeda flag? Since American flags are not welcomed in the USA, but others may be.

  • Elaine

    Carolnye, and Dan, I can’t believe this! This is horrible!
    It hurts my heart to see this happening!
    I DO hope he gets a huge positive support for him.