A Louisiana family is facing a lawsuit after they refused to remove a banner honoring their son - who is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Gardens of Southgate in Bossier City, La., filed a lawsuit against Timothy and Jodi Burr after they erected a banner honoring their son, Marine Corps. Lance Cpl. Corey Burr.
The banner was posted in their front yard last January after their son was deployed to Afghanistan. The Burrs said they have no intention of removing the banner and vow to fight the lawsuit.
"I hate that it's come to this," Mrs. Burr told The Shreveport Times. "This is a restriction of our First Amendment rights."
Geoffrey Westmoreland, an attorney representing the homeowner's association, declined to comment on the pending litigation. However, he did release a series of letters between the Burr family and the homeowner's association.
"While my clients can appreciate the message of your sign, in order to fairly enforce the covenants with respect to signage, the message contained on a sign or banner cannot be considered in allowing or disallowing the sign/banner," Westmoreland wrote.
The Burrs said other homes feature signs supporting school athletic teams so why can't they post a banner honoring their son?
According to documents provided to Fox News Radio, the subdivision only allows real estate or builder signs to be posted in public view.
And in Milton, Ga., John and Rosana Klein received a letter from their homeowner's association complaining about a "towel" hung in the window of their home. It turned out the "towel" was a Marine flag - honoring their son, Brendan.
"I'm not sure how you mistake any military flag for a towel," Klein told the Associated Press. "We want to make it clear, it's not a towel; it's a Marine Corps flag."
Klein told the homeowner's association about the mistake but they sent him a second email telling him to remove the flag from the window and put it in a flag holder.
The Avensong Community Association sent a statement to WSB-TV about the controversy:
"The HOA made it very clear to Mr. Klein that it had no problem with him displaying the flag. The HOA is grateful to Mr. Klein's son and his service to our country, and we certainly understand the love, pride, and appreciation Mr. Klein and his wife must have for their son. The HOA only asked Mr. Klein to please display the U.S. Marine Corps flag in the same respectful manner required under the American Flag Code for the National Flag - in a flag holder or bracket on his front porch or any other befitting manner, not hung as drapery. Alternatively, the HOA asked Mr. Klein to please provide evidence suggesting that he was, in fact, displaying the flag in a respectful manner."
Klein said he was disturbed by the accusation that he was somehow desecrating the flag.
"Unless you're a military family and unless you've been through what we've been through, you don't have a lot of latitude to accuse us of something like that," he said.
He decided to remove the flag after the association threatened to fine him $25 per day.