Last week, residents of a condominium community in Murray, Utah were informed by their board association that they had to cease flying their American flags.
Jo Ann Dugay, one of the five board members on the homeowners association, was outraged. She said, “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. They said ‘Is this flag row?’ and that something needed to be done about it.”
One resident, Erin Worthen, who refused to remove her flag, was fined $75 and warned, “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 blasted, “That is not a holiday decoration. People have died for that, it is not a holiday decoration.”
Meanwhile, Lyn Steinbergen, president of the HOA that delivered the ultimatum, told KSTU she was tired of seeing the flags every day, adding, “Flags are flown on holiday events. All we are trying to do is regulate when the flag goes up and when it comes down.”
On Thursday night, residents were prepared to discuss the issue at a meeting with board members, but the board members canceled the meeting just before it was to start, though the room was packed. The ostensible reason for the cancellation was that one member of the board could not attend, according to a lawyer for the HOA.
The residents expressed their anger; Worthen said, “I have a legal right to fly my American Flag, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.” She blamed Steinbergen, “Because she is not getting her way, she’s going to shut it down.”
The residents plan a later meeting to kick off some members of the board.
In June, an Edina, Minnesota woman, Angie Hildebrandt, was told by her condo association to take down her American flag. Hildebrandt responded that the day the flag came down would be the day she moved, adding, “I got a family tree that’s got more stars than leaves on it. If I have to go to court, then I don’t want to, but so be it.”