Homeowner Associations Can Forbid Flagpoles Via Legal Loophole

LELAND -- It is part victory, part defeat for a Leland man who is fighting to fly his flag in his yard at Magnolia Greens.

The homeowners association at the housing development sent resident Rick Perzan a letter Monday, asking him to remove his flagpole or face a stiff penalty.

WECT News polled viewers on WECT.COM. The majority of the respondents agreed that Magnolia Greens should allow the pole if it is used for an American flag.

Lawmakers in Raleigh agreed. In fact, the legislature adopted a law permitting flag poles and flags in most neighborhoods last year.

NC House Bill 1541 explicitly states that homeowners associations, such as Magnolia Greens, could not regulate the flying of an American flag in any way.

But there is a catch. The law also said that homeowners associations could write in all caps and bold on the front page of the contract: "This document regulates the display of the flag of the United States of America." Those who sign it waive their right to wave the flag from a pole.

In the declaration page of the homeowner's covenance at Magnolia Greens, it was indeed stated that the association could restrict the flying of the American flag.

It looks like the only option left for Perzan is to convince his homeowners association to change the rules.

Reported by Kim Gebbia