2006-06-16 / Editorial/Opinion

Opinions Flying A Flag Should Be Citizen's Right

Flying a flag, any flag, from ones home should be the right of every American. Driving past the high-rises on Shore Front Parkway, motorists might see any number of flags. There are, of course, American Flags, particularly around Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Flag Day. We have seen many Irish flags, some Italian Flags, Puerto Rican Flags and even flags for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. The flags represent ethnic, national and organizational pride. One should not be angered because another is flying a flag that does not represent their nationality or ethnic group. That, however, is what is happening. It appears that one cooperator complained to management at the Dayton complex that a neighbor was flying a Puerto Rican Flag without flying an American Flag as well. This rankled the neighbor, particularly around Memorial Day. Her argument was that it was against Federal Law to fly another nation's flag without flying the American Flag as well. Rather than fight that battle, Dayton management has reportedly decreed that no flags of any type be flown from the terraces or windows of any building in the complex. We have researched the question and have found that there is no law requiring that the American Flag be flown alongside the flag of another nation. We also found that cooperatives and apartment building managers have the right to limit or completely deny the right to fly any flag on its property. We think that Dayton's management has over-reacted to an individual complaint and that it should allow flags to be flown. At the same time, we found that many states, including New Jersey, have passed laws limiting management's right to stop people from flying flags or other displays of support. Our state legislators should think of supporting such a bill as well. This is America. People have a right to voice their feelings towards this nation or any other. Flying a flag is only one way to voice that support. We should all embrace their right to do just that.

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