Pennsylvania Family Stands Ground in Face-Off With Homeowners Association About Right to Fly American Flag

by Halle Ames

A Pennsylvania family is going up against their homeowner’s association over a pole in their lawn flying the American flag.

Darlene and Rocco Lacertosa are the proud parents of two sons who are serving in the US military. To honor them the family installed a pole with an American flag in their front yard, reports Fox News.

The Location Of The Flag Pole Is Up For Debate

The Lacertosa family lives in a housing complex managed by the Galman Group. The group said that the pole needs to be removed because it is placed on common ground.

Galman Group sent a letter to the military family, saying that the governing documents clearly state the rules about the use of common ground on the property. The Lacertosa family argues back, claiming that there is and has never been a rule discussing such.

In the letter, the homeowner association told the Lacertosa family that they “trust that as a homeowner … you recognize that keeping the entire community looking good helps to promote strong values.”

A spokesperson for the Galman Group spoke with about the incident. They said they have no issue with the flag but the pole.

“The standards specifically permit the American flag to be flown when mounted to a house but do not permit in-ground flags in the community,” the spokesperson explained. “The Galman Group and the Board at Indian Valley Meadows welcome its residents to display the American flag, and other appropriate flags, in accordance with the guidelines established for the benefit of the community.”

Darlene Lacertosa took her grievances to social media. She wrote that the pole was his father’s, who flew it until his death.

“Very upsetting since we have two sons in the military, and this flag pole was Rocco’s dad’s, which he proudly flew every day until the day he died,” Lacertosa shared. “Very upsetting.”

Other People Have Similar Experiences

Similarly, a 62-year-old Navy veteran from St. Michael, Minnesota, began a dispute with his homeowners association after asking to install a lighted flagpole with the American flag in his front yard.

When Reed Herman never heard back, he took it upon himself to put up the pole. The association fired back with legal matters, saying he must take down the flag and pole.

He finally took down the pole after the association threatened to fine him $50 a day in November of 2018.

A year later, Herman was told that he owed $3,700 to the association for legal fees and other costs associated with the situation. According to court documents, he offered a settlement or mediation, but the association refused. His home is now up for auction. Again, the group said they never had an issue with the American flag but the flagpole. Flags may be flown from poles attached to homes.