Most Community Association governing documents prohibit exterior modifications, including the placement of banners, flags, and signs. However, as pointed out in Chapter 1 of Kaman & Cusimano LLC’s booklet, “A Guide for Board Members,” there is a hierarchy of laws and in several instances there are federal and state laws that supersede and overrule Community Association declarations.
One such instance is the placement of the American flag. Ohio Revised Code Section 5311.191 states that:
“No declaration, bylaw, rule, regulation, or agreement of a condominium property or construction of any of these items by the board of managers of its unit owners association shall prohibit the placement of a flagpole that is to be used for the purpose of displaying, or shall prohibit the display of, the flag of the United States on or within the limited common areas and facilities of a unit owner or on the immediately adjacent exterior of the building in which the unit of a unit owner is located.”
Community Association boards would be well advised to liberally allow signs of patriotism during our nation’s 4th of July celebration. I recommend that boards not only permit American flags, but also flags of our armed forces, blue star banners, and/or any other reasonable, patriotic displays.