The Ohio General Assembly has introduced House Bill 289, which if passed would prohibit Ohio community associations from passing an amendment or rule banning “A service flag approved by the United States secretary of defense for display in a window of the residence of a member of the immediate family of an individual serving in the armed forces of the United States. A service flag includes a blue star banner, a gold star banner, and any other flag the secretary of defense designates as a service flag.”
This prohibition would be in addition to the restriction on associations prohibiting the American flag already found in Ohio law. The intent of passing this bill follows the common sense approach to patriotic flags that Kaman & Cusimano has advised its clients to follow in the past. Even before this bill becomes law, in these times of great national pride, especially for those serving in the armed forces, associations should consider permitting such displays of patriotism. While the association may require that the display conform to some reasonable restrictions, an outright ban will lead to angry, upset owners and even significant media attention.
This legislation is sponsored by Representatives DeGeeter and Coley and Cosponsored by Representatives Book, Boose, Murray, Gardner, Evans, Harris, Uecker, Harwood, Gerberry, Letson, Adams, R., Lundy, Luckie, Stebelton, Mecklenborg, Lehner, Ujvagi, Yuko, Phillips, and Dodd. To view the full text of the bill, click here: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=128_HB_289