Sewell, NJ asked in Constitutional Law, Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for New Jersey

Q: Can my HOA prohibit me from displaying the American Flag that has the thin blue & red line in support of Police and Fire

At one of the HOA meetings I attended (virtually) I asked if I could display the American Flag that had the thin blue and red line honoring firefighters and police officers (I have both of these heroes in my family) and one the members of the ARB barely let me finish my sentence before saying no and moving onto the next question. I’ve scanned the home owners guide, covenants and restrictions and bylaws and I’ve found no such rule.

2 Lawyer Answers
Morris Leo Greb
Morris Leo Greb
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Rockaway, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: This is a complicated question which requires an examination of the organic documents of the HOA as well as a review of the history of the HOA in permitting outside displays. Are front door or outdoor terrace railing displays permitted by the HOA? Are flags permitted to be displayed for Flag Day?

Randy Bryan Ligh
Randy Bryan Ligh
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Baton Rouge, LA

A: Following up on attorney Greb's excellent post, are other flags in your subdivision displayed and what the difference between what you want to do and what's already being displayed? But yes, the answer whether or not you can legally display the flag should be contained in the HOA's governing documents, whether it's the covenants/restrictions or the resolutions/policies/procedures. If nothing in contained in said documents then there should be no prohibition. If this issue is important enough to you, then you may want to consult and hire a HOA or real estate attorney to review these documents and provide you an opinion whether or not you can display the flag. Further, and depending on the attorney's opinion, you may want to have him write a letter to the Board with his findings, etc.

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