A dozen homes are now flying Thin Blue Line flags after HOA ordered a military veteran neighbor to dismantle it for its “political” message

After a homeowners’ association recently told an Ohio military veteran he must take down the Thin Blue Line flag he has been flying for five years in honor of his police chief’s son, who was killed while responding to a call, about one responded Dozen of Tom DiSario’s neighbors in solidarity by raising their own Thin Blue Line flags.

Additionally, on Friday night, a caravan of about 20 cruisers from various Licking County law enforcement agencies drove past the Etna home that DiSario shares with his wife Belinda — as their own Thin Blue Line flag continued to fly — in a show of support. WBNS-TV reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Image source: YouTube screenshot

What is the background?

DiSario received a letter from Omni Community Association Managers last week stating that “the political flag flag must be removed from your property.” WCMH-TV reported.

DiSario has flown the Thin Blue Line flag in his front yard since his son Steven Eric DiSario – the newly appointed Kirkersville Police Chief – was gunned down on May 12, 2017, the broadcaster said.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

DiSario’s son was just 38 and a father of six — with a seventh on the way — when he was killed, WCMH said.

“A Political Statement”

The HOA letter read in part that “The flag on your pole is not a flag of the United States. It’s a political statement. Please remove the flag from your property,” the broadcaster said.

But DiSario told WCMH he “spent 23 years in the military, and there’s no way, shape, or form that the flag will be flown disrespectfully at all. It has a 4 x 6 American flag over it and the police flag is . .. 3 x 5 below. It is no larger than the top flag.

“It represents my son and nothing else,” he added to the broadcaster. “So I don’t know why everyone is bothering me now that I have to take it down.”

What does the HOA have to say?

David Dye, president of the Omni Community Association Managers, told the station that the HOA received a complaint about the flag, and then sent the letter to DiSario directing him to take the flag down.

“They bought into the community with rules,” Dye told the broadcaster. “By purchasing from this community, he has agreed that he cannot show what he wants to show.”

Dye also explained to WCMH how a flag can count as a sign.

“Sometimes signs masquerade as flags or as light displays, as examples,” he told the station. “The Board has accepted this and as a sign we cannot assess what it says. For example, we had to ask people to remove a sign advertising a nativity scene. It doesn’t matter if we agree. If it’s a mark, you can’t put it on under the deed restrictions.”

“When the controversy arose, we ordered one”

It appears the HOA now has a few more letters to send, as a dozen Thin Blue Line flags were flying in the Cumberland Crossing neighborhood through Monday, WBNS said.

“We support his decision,” neighbor Lori Shoemaker — a new Thin Blue Line flag flyer — told the station at DiSario’s memorial. “I don’t see this flag as political.”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Neighbors Wally Baumbusch and Matt Westlake agree, telling WBNS the flag is not political.

“I didn’t have it in my yard before, but when the argument came up we ordered one,” Baumbusch added to the station.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Westlake has a family in law enforcement, and he noted to WBNS that DiSario’s Thin Blue Line flag is no different than planting a rock garden for a loved one who has passed away.

“This is a memorial to his son,” Westlake told the broadcaster.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

An Omni representative told WBNS the rule may change if the board changes deed restrictions, which requires 75 percent of homeowners to agree. But the HOA added that the biggest challenge would be deciding again what’s acceptable, telling the station that the average homeowner is unaware of the potential legal ramifications that may lie ahead.

“I’m American First”

For Baumbusch it is a civic duty.

“At the end of the day, I’m an American first,” he told WBNS, adding that raising the Thin Blue Line flag is a constitutional right worth defending.

“We have to protect it,” he told the broadcaster. “And if that means bumping our head a bit with our HOA, then I guess we will.”

Neighborhood is hitting back, putting up police flags after a Licking County resident called for them to be removed


https://www.theblaze.com/news/thin-blue-line-flag-solidarity A dozen homes are now flying Thin Blue Line flags after HOA ordered a military veteran neighbor to dismantle it for its “political” message

Laura Coffey

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