HOA In Saratoga Springs Says No To Anything But US, Utah Flags
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – A neighborhood HOA has ruled that homeowners are not allowed to display any flag but the national flag and Utah state flag — and some residents aren’t happy about it.
“I wouldn’t have flown the flag if it didn’t mean something to me,” said Aubrey Bentley, as she held onto a rainbow pride flag.
Bentley has lived in the neighborhood for about two years. She said flying flags turned into a heated debate online last month around Memorial Day and Pride week, when several homeowners displayed the U.S. flag and about 22 neighbors set up pride flags in their front yard.
Fast forward several weeks and Legacy Farms Owners Association, which ironically flies more than just the American flag outside of its office, sent out a notice to homeowners through its law firm to clarify its flag policy.
According to the notice, the covenants do not allow any flag to be flown on the property, except the national flag and the Utah state flag.
“The covenants expressly prohibit the flying of any other flags,” attorney Peter Harrison said.
He explained that the First Amendment protects free speech from the government, not a private entity.
Among other things, the notice states that if you display a flag other than those two flags, the HOA can issue you a violation notice and a fine.
“They didn’t say they were going to fine anybody,” resident Christ Carter said.
“I think it’s important to remember that they don’t take political positions or social positions on any of this,” Harrison said of the Association.
Homeowners agree to follow the HOA covenants, conditions and restrictions when they buy a property.
“I don’t see any problem with the HOA putting restrictions on different things we can have in front of our homes because that’s what we all signed up for,” Bentley said, adding, “it just seems silly.”
Still, with or without a fine, she said the restriction won’t stop her from flying her pride flag again next year.
“I’m willing to pay a fine if it means that I continue to show support for things that I care about,” she said.
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