Homeowner Fights Outrageous Fine For Flying Flag

Photo credit: U.S. Army Europe Images (Creative Commons)

A Florida homeowner is battling local authorities over the selective targeting of a Wounded Warrior flag he chose to present on his own property. While the Grand Haven community permits residents to fly flags of virtually any other type, he is facing a hefty find and could face a possible lien against his property because of the display.

According to Thomas Bagnoli, the homeowners’ association issued him a $1,000 fine for the apparent violation, though he was shocked to find out he was being targeted.

“I wanted to stand up for something, which I thought was important,” he said in a subsequent interview, “not only to me, but all these kids, men and women fighting over there.”

Reports indicate that, if the fine is not paid within a certain period of time, the HOA can pursue a lien against his home.

“They can do whatever they want,” he asserted. “I’m doing what I want. I feel strongly about this.”

One wonders why flags promoting other issues – including sports teams – are allowed while Bagnoli’s tribute to injured soldiers was not. As of this writing, however, the Western Center for Journalism’s request for comment has not been returned.

Other national outlets began to spotlight this development Wednesday morning, which will undoubtedly bring undesired scrutiny on the HOA and the Grand Haven Master Association. While these administrators could easily relent and come to an agreement with Bagnoli, the homeowner plans to stand firm on his beliefs no matter the outcome.

“They say, ‘Sorry, you have to take it down,’” he said. “I refuse to.”

The flag has been up for more than a year, and he has never received even one complaint. If anything, the display has endeared him to his neighbors. One local volunteered to pay the fine provided he maintains his dedication to flying the flag.

“I get angry,” he explained. “I really do. I don’t understand why.”

In any event, he maintains it will not be Grand Haven’s decision regarding when he takes down the flag, explaining that will not happen at least until U.S. troops return from Afghanistan.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Photo credit: U.S. Army Europe Images (Creative Commons)

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  1. Only Commies would ask him to take down his flag.

  2. Edwardkoziol says:

    I'll bet if he was flying a terrorist flag known as a muslim flag his neighbors wouldn't dare tell him to take it down and fine him.They'd be scared shitless knowing what could happen to them but when it comes to military or christian flags the get bent out of shape.

  3. anonymous says:

    this is typical BS in Florida. That's why I call it FLAWeeduh. And why I moved the heck out.

  4. Linda From NY says:

    What Un-American is in charge of HOA, this person needs to be sent emails and find out if he or she is a citizen of this Country.

    A true American Patriot would not have a problem with this Flag and this also goes against the 1st Amendment Right which is Freedom of Speech. 15 or 20 years ago this would have been unheard of, we are becoming another communist Country where it is NOT allow such things as this.

  5. Ira Poontang says:

    This is what one can expect from any HOA. They are staffed by the power hungry; because they are not paid the only reason to want to be on the HOA board is the thirst for power over others. On the board you often get nothing but the rath of the homeowners who want things they can’t have – it’s nothing but trouble. But, mostly it’s the HOA board trying to tell homeowners what they can and can’t do with their property. Often the inexperienced board decides things based on their personal opinions and likes/dislikes. If I could leave my home and get out of the HOA controlled development where I’m at I would be gone yesterday.

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