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Another Patriot Told to Remove His Flag Pole - What Gives?!

Henrico Medal of Honor winner, 90, ordered to remove flagpole

Col. Van T. Barfoot, a local Medal of Honor winner, is under the gun from his Henrico County community's homeowner association.

In a five-paragraph letter to Barfoot that he received yesterday, Barfoot is being ordered to remove a flagpole from his yard. The decorated veteran of three wars, now 90 years old, raises the American flag every morning on the pole, then lowers and folds the flag at dusk each day in a three-corner military fashion.

In a priority mail letter, the Coates & Davenport law firm in Richmond is ordering Barfoot to remove the pole by 5 p.m. Friday or face "legal action being brought to enforce the Covenants and Restrictions against you." The letter states that Barfoot will be subject to paying all legal fees and costs in any successful legal proceeding pursued by the homeowner association's board.

Barfoot lives in the Sussex Square community in far western Henrico; its board of directors rejected a plea from Barfoot in July to approve the pole, disallowing the fixture on aesthetic grounds.

There is no provision in the community's rules expressly forbidding flagpoles, Barfoot's daughter said. But she said the board ruled against her father's fixture and ordered it removed in July, deciding that free-standing flag poles are not aesthetically appropriate. Short flag stands attached to porches dot the community.

"Dad sort of feels like this is the end," said Margaret Nicholls, Barfoot's daughter, who lives a few doors away. But she said this morning that she and her husband are attempting to generate support for her father's cause, a flag-raising rite that he has undertaken for most of his life.

Barfoot received the Medal of Honor on the battlefield during World War II in Italy and fought as well in the Korean and Vietnam wars. A portion of a highway in rural Mississippi, his native state, was named in his honor this fall. A building at McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond also carries his name.

Barfoot began regularly flying the flag on Veteran's Day this year despite the Sussex Square board's decision.

He said in November that not flying the flag would be a sacrilege to him.

"There's never been a day in my life or a place I've lived in my life that you couldn't fly the American flag," he said.

For more on this story, see tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch.

-- Bill McKelway

Read more: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/artic...

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Top Opinion

  • Civic Minded 2009/12/03 01:08:11
    Civic Minded
    +4
    Mark Levin brought this to our attention on his show this evening. He is hopping mad and out to shake things up. I am with him 100%. Apparently the home owner's association's leadership thinks they can make things up as they wish, as a prohibition is not in their restrictions. There was another case in the same county that went badly and the state assembly passed a law after the fact that should help in this case. Read about it here: http://www.firstamendmentcent...

    Then there's a Florida case that started in 2008: http://www.freerepublic.com/f...

    If we look, I suspect we will find a good many similar stories around the country. Home Owner's Associations need to be more concerned with taking care of their own business. Too many restrictions makes for hostile neighborhoods.

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  • Sheila 2009/12/03 17:48:32
    Sheila
    +1
    I F*CKING HATE homeowners associations!! And this is a classic example. I sold my home over stupid stuff like this and would recommend he do the same!! This man is a HERO and the disrespect being shown to him and to my country in this situation is dispicable!!
  • Civic M... Sheila 2009/12/03 19:09:21
    Civic Minded
    I don't know what you encountered, Sheila. We have a "property owners' association." There are restrictions, but not too many. Problems arise when exceptions are permitted - mostly because the developer did this and then others also want exceptions. When people buy their home, they know there are restrictions. They should read them before deciding to buy into the neighborhood. The good thing about restrictions is easily seen the minute you leave our neighborhood. We are in the county and across are ranches and farms. There are also people whose yards don't get mowed regularly. One family had a roll away trash receptacle (24' long perhaps?), which sat in plain view on the front lawn. Their front yard was treated like a back yard. Fortunately, they moved out and hauled it away, put a new roof on and a sale sign in front. Some yards have farm animals. Some homes nearby are mobile homes and others are more expensive homes, all side by side. Without some ordinances and restrictions, anything goes and it looks, well, not very nice! So, I prefer to work with an association. I surely would NOT let my association do what is being done in regard to flying the American flag. This man needs a great pro bono attorney to put them in their place. They admit there's nothing in their restrictions regarding this. The case should be simple to shut down, but there are foolish, activist judges who will allow these things into the courts.
  • Sheila Civic M... 2009/12/03 19:54:42
    Sheila
    +1
    When my mother passed away I inherited her townhouse. I lived there with my 2 mo old son. My boyfriend took my son to the pool one afternoon so I could do some homework without any distractions. He came back and told me they kicked them out of the pool. I went to see why. They told me there was a new policy of NO guests at the pool. Now I payed 125 per mo HOA dues and lived in a 3 br home alone. I explained that this was the ONLY guest that would ever be at the pool and only because my son who is a resident can not come alone at his age and I do not use the pool. NO. Ok, well I got mad and blew it off. I wanted to have cable tv in my room. My room was upstairs. The only way to get it was to run cable up the outside. NO. I volunteered to paint the cable to match the house at my cost. NO. The family behind me played basketball on a collapsable goal with dad and 2 young kids every day. They pushed the goal into the patio area where it did not show when they were done. There were kids all over the place that would not get out of the way as you drove down the street. there were a couple of homes that music blasted out of 24-7. There were many problems that affected EVRYONE, but this family was told to get rid of the goal due to a new rule. We went together to see who makes these "n...
    When my mother passed away I inherited her townhouse. I lived there with my 2 mo old son. My boyfriend took my son to the pool one afternoon so I could do some homework without any distractions. He came back and told me they kicked them out of the pool. I went to see why. They told me there was a new policy of NO guests at the pool. Now I payed 125 per mo HOA dues and lived in a 3 br home alone. I explained that this was the ONLY guest that would ever be at the pool and only because my son who is a resident can not come alone at his age and I do not use the pool. NO. Ok, well I got mad and blew it off. I wanted to have cable tv in my room. My room was upstairs. The only way to get it was to run cable up the outside. NO. I volunteered to paint the cable to match the house at my cost. NO. The family behind me played basketball on a collapsable goal with dad and 2 young kids every day. They pushed the goal into the patio area where it did not show when they were done. There were kids all over the place that would not get out of the way as you drove down the street. there were a couple of homes that music blasted out of 24-7. There were many problems that affected EVRYONE, but this family was told to get rid of the goal due to a new rule. We went together to see who makes these "new rules" and how to get in on this process. We were given info that was wrong. We both filed greivances. Ignored. I did what I needed to do and sold. But it was WRONG!! I know the reasons to have certain rules, asthetics and the like, but I am a firm believer that my home is mine. Just left a really bad taste in my mouth!!
    (more)
  • Civic M... Sheila 2009/12/03 20:20:38
    Civic Minded
    +1
    Sure would have warn on my nerves! I would have sold too! That's a lot of HOA dues to pay and have such a lousy environment. These are little tyrants on a power trip. Sorry you experienced that. Now I'm fuming....for crying out loud!
  • Sheila Civic M... 2009/12/03 20:29:28
    Sheila
    +1
    I'm sorry!! Don't get upset, it's not worth it!! You are so sweet!! worth sweet
  • Civic M... Sheila 2009/12/03 20:35:42
    Civic Minded
    +1
    Heeheehee! Not to worry! You are too precious! I would have found a bunch of neighbors and gone to their board meeting to let them know they were being pink slipped! There are some community organizers that do the right thing! lol I'll bet you are much happier where you are now!
  • Arizona1950 2009/12/03 03:33:03
    Arizona1950
    +1
    I don't understand these HOAs they are like little Gestapos. What a shame.
  • Civic M... Arizona... 2009/12/03 06:27:51
    Civic Minded
    +1
    Good analogy!
  • Allbiz - PWCM - JLA 2009/12/03 02:42:06
    Allbiz - PWCM - JLA
    +2
    Okay, for a moment let's forget about all the clifches about honoring the flag,and abou nasty HOA's and look at what is really happening here.

    First, let's consider the Medal of Honor. An award given for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States to be awarded to non-commissioned officers and privates only who shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action.

    Now let's look at the ricipient. A 90 year-old retired Colonel who rose from the ranks of a private to the highest of officers below that of General. He is one of only 3,448 soldiers who has recieved the MOH since its inception in 1862. A period of time when millions have served but so few of equal gallantry.

    But for people like the Colonel, it's possible the developers and their lawyers may not have recieved their college educations without the government financed student loans they most likely recieved which the Colonel defended for them with his life.

    But for the Colonel and 3,447 others like him, the members of his HOA and his neighbors may not be enjoying the freedoms and the prosperous lives they are now living and in danger of seeing diminished.

    This is not a matter of aesthetics...


    Okay, for a moment let's forget about all the clifches about honoring the flag,and abou nasty HOA's and look at what is really happening here.

    First, let's consider the Medal of Honor. An award given for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States to be awarded to non-commissioned officers and privates only who shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action.

    Now let's look at the ricipient. A 90 year-old retired Colonel who rose from the ranks of a private to the highest of officers below that of General. He is one of only 3,448 soldiers who has recieved the MOH since its inception in 1862. A period of time when millions have served but so few of equal gallantry.

    But for people like the Colonel, it's possible the developers and their lawyers may not have recieved their college educations without the government financed student loans they most likely recieved which the Colonel defended for them with his life.

    But for the Colonel and 3,447 others like him, the members of his HOA and his neighbors may not be enjoying the freedoms and the prosperous lives they are now living and in danger of seeing diminished.

    This is not a matter of aesthetics. This is a matter of heroism, and patiotism be damned for the sake of politcal correctness.

    I hope Colonel Barfoot lives long enough to see his dissenters rot in hell.
    (more)
  • Civic M... Allbiz ... 2009/12/03 06:30:48
    Civic Minded
    +2
    Well, Levin would probably agree. Sounds like you are POd as much as he is. Excellent point, and I think Levin's also.
  • Allbiz ... Civic M... 2009/12/03 17:19:09
    Allbiz - PWCM - JLA
    +1
    Yes, this does piss me off. When I was growing up, the 2 most sacred things in almost everybody;s life was their God and their country.

    Now, both of them are too often condemned both in words and in actions.
  • TWISTER61 2009/12/03 02:38:05 (edited)
    TWISTER61
    +1
    Please come to my home and tell me to remove my flagpole! You won,t leave my property!
  • Allbiz ... TWISTER61 2009/12/03 02:43:18
    Allbiz - PWCM - JLA
    TWISTER, where have you been? Long time, no see.
  • Time Remains 2009/12/03 02:25:51
    Time Remains
    +2
    God Bless this kindly old gentleman who was patriotic and did his duty to serve our country in not one, but three wars. The man is also 90 years old and should be commended. That homeowner's association should be brought up on charges of treason for trying this b.s.
  • Jimmy the greek 2009/12/03 02:15:20
    Jimmy the greek
    +1
    They would be smart to leave him be , He is 90 and may show up at the chicken shit Home Owners Association and shoot them all . He lived his life and at 90 he don't have much to lose .
  • Phyl *In God i Trust* 2009/12/03 01:49:39
    Phyl *In God i Trust*
    This is not islam impeach obama islam muslim.This is America in witch obama is destorting just as he planed. islam impeach obama islam muslim america witch obama destorting planed
  • Civic M... Phyl *I... 2009/12/03 06:32:44
    Civic Minded
    +1
    A little off subject, don't you think?!
  • Alicia 2009/12/03 01:33:26
    Alicia
    +2
    Wow this is an absolute disgrace. I just don't know what kind of person would object to this show of patriotism. I hope that his daughter can appeal to someone or get a good lawyer to shake these ridiculous people til their teeth rattle.
  • Civic M... Alicia 2009/12/03 02:07:49
    Civic Minded
    +2
    Mark Levin will not let this go unanswered. He's a constitutional authority and very capable attorney. I'm thinking if he doesn't have time, he will help find someone to put an end to this.
  • laureenf 2009/12/03 01:24:11
    laureenf
    +2
    There has GOT to be defense attorney to take this case on a contingencey...Anyone? Dear Lord...This gentleman should be able to be LEFT ALONE by the anti-America crowd that has now landed in his yard. Good grief! Time to say, "NO!" Keep your flag, Sir and LET them sue...see how far it gets when the paper carries the story and the few, DECENT attorneys out there that step up to defend you. Thankyou for your servce, Sir and keep flying your flag! (I'd sure love to see the 'flag police' come and find a twenty foot deep, two block long, line of Americans standing between them and this man and his flag)

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Civic Minded

Civic Minded

TX, US

2008/12/09 17:04:42

Learning to serve the Lord better

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