Arizona Widow Told She Can’t Display An American Flag, Doesn’t Fit With The Neighborhood’s ‘Look’

Blame the dreaded Homeowners Association (HOA).

a closeup photo of the american flag
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Blame the dreaded Homeowners Association (HOA).

An Arizona widow — the widow of a veteran, no less — was told by her Homeowners Association (HOA) that she couldn’t display an American flag because it doesn’t fit in with her neighborhood’s “look.”

As Yahoo News reports, 82-year-old Donna Cordero lives in a Peoria, Arizona retirement community. Like so many such communities, it’s governed by an HOA, which has covenants that neighbors must agree to if they want to live there. Those covenants generally include things like lawn upkeep and such, but just as often they include rules about what can and can’t be displayed from a home.

When Donna struck up a conversation with a man who offered to paint the red, white & blue on her curb for a few bucks, she decided it was a fantastic idea. As the widow of two veterans, one of whom served in World War II, having a flag on her curb, next to the address numbers of her house, made perfect sense. “I thought, wouldn’t that be nice to let people know that the person who lives here still believes in the flag,” she said.

She paid the guy to do the work, and soon enough, the flag was on her curb. You can see it in the picture below: it’s next to her house numbers, and not much bigger than a few inches by a few inches.

Her HOA, however, wasn’t amused. In June, she says, an HOA enforcer was making the routine rounds of the neighborhood “to observe the aesthetic appearance of the properties and to ensure they are maintaining ‘the look'” when he or she noticed the flag.

Cordero then received a note: “Picture on your curb numbers must be removed.”

USA Today writer Laurie Roberts spoke to a representative of the HOA and was told that it isn’t about the flag, it’s about the decoration, which is forbidden in the covenants that Cordero signed. “This has nothing to do with being anti-American,” said Tom Canepa, the HOA’s vice president.

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Cordero, for her part, says she has no intention of getting rid of her flag.

“You’ve got to stand for something or you will fall for nothing and I’m not going to fall for nothing. This is my property and I just can’t believe anybody would find that flag offensive,” she says.

Cordero is not alone in fighting her HOA over flag-related restrictions. In fact, stories of HOAs imposing onerous rules or fines on homeowners pop up pretty frequently. Earlier this summer, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, a Florida woman’s condo association told her to remove an LGBTQ pride flag.