Couple Fights for Right to Display American Flag on Their Front Door
Russell Diesinger and his wife have had a long-held tradition at their home - when their son is deployed, they display an American flag on their front door and place single electric candle in the window. They believe that this tradition has played a part in bringing him home safely from his many deployments. It's their way of "being involved in keeping him safe".
But, recently, the Diesingers have had to fight for their right to support their country and their son.
During their son's latest deployment, they Russell says that they received a note from their home owner's association at Wingspread Townhouse Community in Exeter, Penn. The association had enacted a change to the community’s by-laws that prohibited the Diesingers from displaying the flag. They later received a notice stating that they would be fined $50 per day until the flag was removed.
The Diesingers responded to the HOA in writing, explaining why the flag was displayed, and informed them that they expected their son (who serves in the United States Army Special Forces) to be home in early October.
In their response, they also referenced a federal law, the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 which states,
Sec. 3. Right To Display The Flag Of The United States. A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.
They assumed that was the end of it. They didn't hear anything back from the HOA for weeks, their son returned home, and their flag came down.
That was not the case. Recently, the Diesingers received a bill from the homeowners association for $785.54 for legal fees for their attorney to research the flag law. No explanation, no "we're glad your son is home safely", just a bill.
Word has spread about the Diesingers experience. A sign appeared on the Wingspread entrance sign Friday morning that read "I pledge allegiance to the flag. Sincerely, a combat vet."
Folks have also stopped by to plant flags in the flowerbed in front of the community's sign.