Utah Residents Fined for Flying the American Flag

AP

Residents at a condominium complex in Murray, Utah, are being fined by their homeowners association for flying the American Flag outside of their properties.

Fox 13 in Salt Lake City reported that the approximately 60 homeowners at Chestnut Place were directed to take down their flags after a recent homeowners association board meeting during which a pair of members expressed discontent with flags at the complex.

"After the last board meeting, we were leaving and two members of the board and a resident said they were tired of looking at the flag," explained Jo Ann Dugay, who serves on the homeowners association. "They said, ‘is this flag row?’ And that something needed to be done about it."

After residents were instructed to remove their flags, one resident, Erin Worthen, refused to do so and was fined $75. She was also delivered a notice reading, "All exterior decorations must be removed within 10 days following the holiday. … Please remove your flag from the common area (Utah Community Association Act. 57-8a-219)."

Worthen balked at the characterization of the American Flag as a "decoration."

"That is not a holiday decoration. People have died for that, it is not a holiday decoration," Worthen said.

Lyn Steinbergen, the president of the homeowners association, said Thursday that she would enforce the flag policy, explaining that she was tired of seeing all flags, including the American flag, flying outside the condominiums.

"Flags are flown on holiday events. All we are trying to do is regulate when the flag goes up, and when it comes down," Steinbergen explained.

A homeowners’ association meeting was scheduled for Thursday night, which would have given residents an opportunity to voice concerns, but it was cancelled.

Worthen accused Steinbergen and other board members of canceling the meeting in order to avoid the issue. "Because she is not getting her way, she’s going to shut it down," Worthen said.

Other residents have demanded a special meeting be held on the issue and suggested their desire to vote members off of the homeowners association board.

"I have a legal right to fly my American Flag, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it," Worthen stated.