August 5, 2006
Flag Display Legislation, Apartment Complexes, and Condo Associations
I'm intrigued and heartened by Congress' recent legislation ensuring the right to display the American flag, even if condominum covenants or lease terms bar the display. Nice story from my childhood hometown newspaper, The [Chester County] Daily Local News here.
The full text of H.R. 42 is available here. Here are some key provisions:
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.
SEC. 4. LIMITATIONS.
Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with--
(1) any provision of chapter 1 of title 4, United States Code, or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display or use of the flag of the United States (as established pursuant to such chapter or any otherwise applicable provision of law); or (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.
More fodder for Jim Smith's excellent work on The Law of Yards, 33 Ecology Law Quarterly 203-231 (2006). And heartening news for those of us who like to see limitations on the power of neighborhood associations. Of course, some of this might also be handled by the Restatement (Third) of Servitudes § 3.1(2).
I wanted to have an illustration of a flag displayed at a house (hence the first illustration, from our friends at the Library of Congress). However, I also wanted a little color on this story; hence the second illustration (also from our friends at LOC).
Alfred L. Brophy
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