Steve Roberts, a resident of suburban Santee, CA in San Diego County, says that the owners of his apartment complex are preventing him from displaying the American flag inside his home. The flag, which is hung in his front window, is hidden when the blinds are closed, and is a tribute to Roberts’s father, who served in the military for 25 years, according to a report by Ashlee DeMartino of ABC News affiliate KGTV-10 San Diego.
The controversy recalls a case from ten years ago, when Donald Lamp, the father-in-law of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, refused to take down a flag that he had flown from the balcony of his apartment in a in Omaha, NE. The question involved a clash between the property rights of the owners and the free speech rights of the residents. In Roberts’s case, however, the lease only bans decorations outside the apartment.