The Villages, FL – A Florida couple had to remove their Thin Blue Line flag that flew in front of their house but are fighting to keep a small American flag up.
Joseph and Margaret Ganci had three flags that were planted in the ground and flying in front of their home.
On Sept. 12, the development in which they live received an anonymous complaint about the flags, according to Villages-News.com.
A flower flag and the Thin Blue Line flag were taken down by the Florida couple as well as statues that were placed in front of the home.
The American flag has not been taken down and on Oct. 11 the Gancis argued their case before the Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors, according to Villages-News.com. The public hearing is open until Dec. 13 and the flag will be allowed to stay until then.
The flags were displayed in a manner that classified them as “lawn ornaments,” according to Villages-News.com.
“How incredulous to call the American flag a ‘lawn ornament,’” said Margaret Ganci, according to Villages-News.com.
“Regardless of how it flies – whether it’s on the house, on a pole, or in the garden, it’s still the American flag,” Margaret Ganci told WOFL.
Joe Ganci, who is a veteran, said the American flag was put on a bracket attached to the house but that the wind kept blowing it off. Joe Ganci told WOFL he’d find the American flag on the ground when he came home.
The Gancis told WOFL that they replace the American flag every few months and keep a light shining on it in the evening.
District Counsel Valerie Fuchs said the problem is not the American flag, per se. WOFL reported that seasonal lawn ornaments are allowed in the development but only within 30 days of a holiday.
Fuchs said that homeowners “gave up certain constitutional rights” when they sign the contract which lists the deed restrictions.
“They bought into a community where there won’t be stuff stuck in the ground,” Fuchs said, according to Villages-News.com. Fuchs said the couple could apply to the Architectural Review Committee for permission to install a flagpole.
However, at least some of the Community Development District 7 supervisors don’t agree.
“I have a problem with giving up constitutional rights and saying ‘no American flag,’” Supervisor Dennis Broedlin said, according to Villages-News.com.
“When it comes to the American flag, I think we should separate it. This is America,” Supervisor Jerry Vicenti told Villages-News.com.