September 13, 2006 at 6:58 PM EST - Updated July 3 at 12:36 PM
LELAND -- A controversy over flying the American flag is dividing one Brunswick County neighborhood.
Rick Perzan received a letter from the Magnolia Greens Homeowner's Association, telling him to remove the flagpole flying an American flag in his backyard, or pay heavy fines. Perzan was outraged by the letter.
"It was like stabbing me in the heart," said Perzan, "I think it's absolutely absurd, strictly because it is the American flag."
Perzan had put up the flagpole in honor of those who died in the September 11 attacks five years ago.
"The only flag that's ever flown there is the American flag," said Perzan.
The patriotic controversy has drawn the attention of veterans near and far. Strangers showed up at his doorstep to support his cause.
The homeowner's association at Magnolia Greens, however, said that Perzan was in violation of the convenant of the estate.
"Perzan does have the ability to fly the flag in memory of 9/11," said John Caughlin with the homeowner's association. "He just can't fly it on a vertically mounted flagpole."
Perzan said he understood that rules are rules, but he believed that they could be amended. He hoped to get them changed by starting a neighborhood petition and taking it to Caughlin himself.
But until that happens, Old Glory is off its forbidden pole.