HOA Upset Over Upside-Down Flag

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A homeowners association in suburban Denver is weighing whether or not to fine a woman who's been hanging a flag upside down outside her house.

Beth Hammer hung the flag on March 19, the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, to protest the war.

Her homeowners association says the display violates the neighborhood's "patriotic and political expression policy." The HOA manager says the rules are meant to maintain harmony in the community, not restrict freedom.

But Hammer's lawyer says other people have violated the code by having dirty flags displayed in flower pots but they haven't been told to remove them.

Hammer faces fines of up to $500 a day, which could be applied retroactively. A decision is expected within ten days.

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  • by Jim D Location: Co Springs on Jul 14, 2007 at 07:20 AM
    It saddens me that KOAA will post this story but not the comments of those supporting and defending our constitution so people like this can exercise their "so called" freedom of speech.
  • by Don Location: Peterson Air Force Base on Jul 13, 2007 at 03:14 PM
    Freedom or not, it's a slap in the face to every citizen of the USA to fly our flag upside down unless used as a signal of distress.
  • by Katherine Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 13, 2007 at 08:55 AM
    There are some fundamental misunderstandings going on here. First, there is a difference between supporting a war and supporting the troops. Most troops when polled do not support this war, but they serve nonetheless because it is their duty to the country. Second, as part of that duty soldiers of the past did give their lives for us to have these freedoms we enjoy. For that reason, those soldiers may not agree with what one woman is doing to express her opinions, but they would agree that she has the FREEDOM to do so. Thirdly, the statements made here by Sheila are not about the war necessarily or even about soldiers. Her comments are about freedoms. If we do not continue to uphold the freedoms that the soldiers fought for, then we allow their lives to have been lost for no reason. This is shameful! And anyone that claims to support troops, but feels that they have the right to restrict someone's freedom should be equally ashamed. Let their lives not have gone in vain. Support our freedoms! We don't have to agree with this woman to support her right to speak!
  • by Sheila Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 13, 2007 at 07:10 AM
    I don't think that you do know me, Pat, because if you did, you would know that I do treat people. Some of them, each day, are soldiers. They come to me in chronic pain, often from carrying all of that heavy equipment post war, and I use my knowledge to treat their muscular pain, and compassion, yes, compassion, to listen to their gruesome tales of their experiences out there and give them support as they talk. And I paid plenty of attention in history class. Freedom of speech is the right to EXPRESS yourself. That's what this woman is doing. Just because you don't agree, doesn't mean that you have the right to shut her up. This is why we have the right to assembly and the right to bear arms as well. I do support our troops. Bless their souls, they are out there suffering and DYING for the cause of a leader's poor decisions. No, I don't agree with the war. But the troops have my heart and the always will. It takes a people MUCH braver than me to go out there and risk their lives every day and I respect that. DO NOT call me a liar because you don't know me. I am a proud American. Proud of my freedom to express myself and proud to live in a place where a woman can protest without being drawn and quartered. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
  • by Don M (USAF) Location: Co Springs on Jul 13, 2007 at 06:46 AM
    This woman shouldn't be fined, she should be stripped of her citizenship and exiled from the US of A. This is blatant disrespect to every man and woman who fights for our freedom; past, present and future. While we may not agree on the war or the reasons behind it we should support those in uniform. Ms. Hammer you best hope I don't see this or I'll take it down myself. I've given 21 years of service to this country and I'll be damned if someone like you disrespects the blanket of freedom I and my colleagues provide.
  • by Monique Location: Aurora on Jul 12, 2007 at 07:09 PM
    so glad that thousands of troops have died so a disrespectful woman can hang the flag upsidedown... show me in the Constitution that is says you have the right to fly a flag upside down. This is not supporting the troops. It's walking all over them.
  • by Pat Location: Colo Spgs on Jul 12, 2007 at 05:37 PM
    Sheila, you're such a liar. I know you and you don't even treat people everyday, let alone soldiers. The only soldiers you treat are the ones that may be clients. So you don't "treat" anyone. It's just your business. I guess lieing is your way of exercising your freedom of speech. By the way. Speech, is spoken or written. Hanging a flag has nothing to do with that right. Maybe you should've paid more attention in that history class.
  • by Nicole Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 12, 2007 at 02:27 PM
    A friend of mine has a video on her myspace page talking about the American G.I. at the end of the video it says..Only two men will die for you, Jesus Christ who died for your soul and the American G.I. who will die for your freedom. Our military troops need our support as they are over there for us. I feel that it is VERY wrong for the woman to hang here flag upside down, she lives in America and because of our troops both past and present, our country is free. They need our support here at home as they do not wish to be there.
  • by Sheila Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 12, 2007 at 10:46 AM
    This is this woman exercising her freedom of speech. Like I keep saying, take a history class. Before we were America, we weren't allowed to speak our minds. Having that flag up doesn't hurt any else's rights. The beautiful thing about this country is we are allowed to express ourselves. Our founding fathers wanted us to be able to say, "Hey our leader is terrible!" She may not believe in the war, but that is her right. She isn't directly violating anyone else's rights. But by fining her, her right to freedom of speech is being violated. If we believe so much in our freedom, why aren't we letting people express it? And to anyone who might decide to accuse me of not supporting our troops, I do. I am a massage therapist and I treat soldiers everyday. I may not fully agree with the war, but I do support the troops who are stuck out there fighting it.
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