STATE HOUSING COMMITTEE TO BAN CONDOS FROM PROHIBITING FLAGS

By Bob Katzen

The Housing Committee held a virtual hearing on a measure that would ban condo associations from prohibiting unit owners from displaying up to a 4.5 feet by 6 feet flag of the United States, Armed Forces or POW/MIA on property on which the unit owner has a right of exclusive possession or use or out the unit’s window as long as the flag does not obstruct the sightlines of other unit owners.

Supporters explained that under the Federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, condo associations cannot prevent owners from displaying the flag on their property but there are exceptions to this law including allowing the association to place limitations on the time, place and manner of any display in order to protect the interest of the association.

“The commonwealth … has been a leading state for change since its inception,” said sponsor David Muradian (R-Grafton). “This bill came about after speaking with a constituent who lives in a condo association and has been told when and where she can fly her flag. Not only does this constituent come from a gold star family, but her family has fought in numerous wars for our country. We have done what we could to resolve problems in the past, and this issue of when and where citizens, especially Gold Star families, are permitted to fly our colors should be no exception. Let us be the first to give a definitive answer on the matter and allow our constituents to freely show pride in our country.”

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