Navy Veteran Ordered to Remove American Flag Mailbox from His Home

August 5, 2017

A retired Navy veteran in Florida has been ordered by a homeowners association (HOA) to remove his American Flag mailbox from the curb in front of his home.

Retired U.S. Navy Officer John Ackert was informed via a letter from the Southwood Residential Community Association in Tallahassee that he must remove the American flag graphics from his mailbox or face fines, Fox News reported.

“This is a very, very petty thing. All I’m trying to do is display my feeling of patriotism toward America. I spent 30 years in uniform,” Ackert told the Tallahassee Democrat.

The association insisted that the flag graphics on the mailbox violated the HOA rules meant to protect the “aesthetic appeal and property values” of the neighborhood.

56 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • justinwachin says:

    This is another example of why I would not want to own a home in an area with a homeowner’s association. While I appreciate the idea of wanting to maintain everyone’s property value, this sort of decree basically forces a group’s value on every resident. I don’t see the mailbox cover as being distasteful.

    With a homeowner’s association you forfeit a lot of your freedom to a group who is striving for the lowest common denominator of conformity.

    1. I have never seen anyone having a gun held to their head and forced to sign a HOA contract. A homeowners association is a perfect example of why America was not created as and is not a democracy.

  • AFGus says:

    This is precisely why I made sure that there was no HOA in my neighborhood when I purchased my home. I will never live somewhere where a bunch of pencil neck geeks can tell me what I can or cannot put on my property.

  • Rodney Steward says:

    We never had this problem till America finally got their first black President and we’ve been going down hill ever since! But Florida is a lot like Cal. and NYC., not a lot of real Americans left all immigrants and now in that area is starting to have a growing population of muslims!!

    1. john says:

      Either you have a very short memory, or you are just ignorant. Try looking back to the 60s and the Vietnam war.

      1. Rodney Steward says:

        This country has never been divided as bad as it is now except for the Civil War that we are slowly building up to again!! I hate anyone that burns a flag or disrespect’s a person in uniform and that’s a traitor to this country, and there are many!!

        1. This country wasn’t divided by the “Civil War”. It was divided before.
          Do you hate those who dispose of old worn out and desecrated flags by burning them as is specified in Title 4 of the United States Code?

      2. More like back to 1913 and the bankruptcy of the US in 1933.

  • Cuebid6 says:

    Counter sue

    1. Only if you are a well-experienced lawyer yourself.

  • roboteq says:

    Let the HOA remove the mailbox and have them prosecuted for defacing federal property. This is just more of the same with extremists who want to control how others live. “Petty” was the correct term.

  • Roy Fredrichsen says:

    As an ex-military man, I stand with the Navy man that has an American mail box, not one that was made in China, Mexico, or India. Somebody is trying to make flying the flag we are sworn to illegal. To hell with them, we’ll fly our flag proudly however we please. THIS IS our country, NOT Russia.

    1. The flag is all we have left now that most American veterans are treasonous violators of their oaths and the Constitution they swore to support and defend.

      1. Roy Fredrichsen says:

        And just where did you get the idea most American Veterans are treasonous violators of their oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Have you been listening to a malcontent somwhere that got in trouble but won’t tell you about it?

        1. Treason is defined in the Constitution at Article 3, Section 3, as consisting “only in levying War against (the United States), or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
          All members of the American military take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
          When the military is committed to foreign actions without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution, that is a violation of the Constitution, arguably the action of domestic enemies.
          When a member of the military participates in an unconstitutional foreign military deployment, s/he violates both the Constitution and his/her oath to “support and defend” it, giving “aid and comfort” to it’s “domestic enemies,” committing treason by the definition given by the Constitution.

          1. Roy Fredrichsen says:

            There is something Congress passed years ago to give the President authority to use military action in a given situation called THE WAR POWERS ACT. Look it up and you will be surprised at what it covers.

          2. It only gives the president 90 days of lawful deployment to commence defensive actions, not the unlawful invasions that all presidents have used it for.

          3. Roy Fredrichsen says:

            Well, that depends on your definition of self defense doesn’t it. Do we have to wait for another Pearl Harbor attack from North Korea BEFORE we can defend ourselves against a crazed dictator?

          4. How does one protect oneself from something that doesn’t exist? Since you brought up Pearl Harbor, why wouldn’t we have been able to avoid provoking that attack instead of protecting ourselves from something that was predicted in the Honolulu newspaper a week before it happened? I haven’t seen any behavior from Kim that hasn’t been routine from McCain. Perhaps we should stop our own crazed dictators from provocating others.

          5. Roy Fredrichsen says:

            Doesn’t exist? North Korea has been launching rockets left and right and threatening to launch rockets at Guam.Do we wait for him to kill thousands of people before we respond to his attack?

          6. Have you personally observed the rockets being launched, or are you simply believing everything you are told by the fake news providers?

          7. Roy Fredrichsen says:

            Well, I guess the report of mayhem taking place in Charlottesville is also a “fake News story” and that woman is still alive? Where is your head, up your behind?

          8. Unless you have personal knowledge, it is just another case of Sandy Hookistis. I’d rather my head be up my ass than watching a telescreen and believing all the propaganda that comes out it it like you do. Since I haven’t had a television since my last one was stolen in 1987, you are just another apparent true believer of all you see and hear, second or more hand.

          9. Mission accomplished. It’s delightful dude

  • Momma Beth says:

    WTF is this country coming to? (And why do I sound more and more like my Grandpa every day?)

    1. American Me says:

      I have said this before and will say it again.This is not the Country I grew up in.I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone.Why would anyone object to the American Flag?I also am former military and the flag means everything to me.How can the symbol of our Country ruin the aesthetic appeal and property values of this neighborhood????That is just some idiots idea of political correctness.Sounds like he bought a house in the wrong neighborhood with communists on the board.

  • LLuke47 says:

    Only the wacko liberals hate the Flag like they do God, Family and country..

  • Ed Watson says:

    Well, buy an ISIS flag from Walmart and put it over the mail box. Maybe that would be OK?

  • Bob says:

    My question to the HOA would be how in the bloody Hell does an American Flag ruin the “aesthetic appeal and property values” of the homes in the area? I could see it if it was an ISIS flag, but the American Flag? Does the HOA fly any flags at the entrance to the community? Do they have any signage on the property that he could complain about? The term “HOA” is becoming more hated the “Lobbyist” or “Politician”.

    1. If it had been flown in the dark, and most flags are, it had been desecrated and would be unaesthetic.

      1. Bob says:

        READ the article. According to the article, every time the mail box became faded, the application was replaced. it would only be “unaesthetic” to those who hate the flag.

        1. Desecration is very unaesthetic, but exceedingly common by those who claim to love the flag but who are grossly ignorant of flag etiquette. I’m not one of those because I spent all three years in junior high school on the color guard. The American Legion is the only veteran organization that treats the flag with the respect it is due, and they burn them regularly, that being the proper way to dispose of a flag.
          If it is meant to serve the same purpose, it is due the same treatment as an actual flag, something actual flags seldom receive.

          1. Bob says:

            “The American Legion is the only veteran organization that treats the flag with the respect it is due, …” Then you obviuosly don’t know much about Veteran Organizations. Organizations such as the VFW and the Fleet Reserve Association will also take and properly dispose of flags. Like the gentleman in the story, I have sweated and bled for the flag and would defy anyone who told me I could not fly it in front of my house, or put it on my mailbox if I was so inclined. And, since the application is NOT a flag, the rules for disposal are not the same.

          2. §3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag
            Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words “flag, standard, colors, or ensign”, as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

            But, the District of Columbia isn’t a state.

          3. Bob says:

            Federal laws and customs were relaxed in the 70’s and 80’s to decriminalize the use of the likeness of the flag. While it remains inappropriate to wear the flag itself as a garment, it is no longer considered inappropriate to use a likeness of the flag in clothing or decorations as long as they are used in a respectful manner. Destruction of these decorations and clothes do not carry the same customs and restriction as destruction of the flag itself, as they are representations of the flag and NOT the flag itself. Further, customs for destruction of the flag have evolved, including burial in lieu of burning and recycling a flag made of synthetic material, things that the authors of the original customs and laws did not anticipate.

          4. They’ve done the same thing to the Constitution. Does that make it lawful, even if it is legal? You know the difference between lawful and legal, I hope.

          5. Bob says:

            Yes, it makes it both lawful and legal if the Legislative Branch changes laws, as long as the Judiciary states they are Constitutional. I don’t know why you seem to believe that ANY use of the likeness of the flag would be illegal but it is not. And the Constitution can be changed, and has been 27 times so far. If not we would still have slavery and only white male land owners could vote.

          6. I don’t know if you have ever of the concept that we have a government of laws instead of men. Men are the ones that degrade laws by making them irrelevant, like those who seem to think that we have to occupy the world to make it safe for “democracy” when we aren’t one, regardless of the unconstitutionality of it. I’m a staunch believer in Marbury v Madison.

          7. Bob says:

            As you claim to be a “…staunch believer in Marbury v Madison.” you should understand the part of my comment that laws made by the Legislative branch are legal “…as long as the Judiciary states they are Constitutional.” This, coupled with the actual Constitution, allows the LEGISLATIVE branch to amend the Constitution as long as those amendments are approved by the Judiciary. Unless you are speaking of a different Marbury v Madison, which helped define the boundary between the constitutionally separate executive and judicial branches of the US government. Droning on with irrelevancies, as you are prone to do, does not make your arguments any more substantial, believable, or eve true .

          8. I was referring to the Marbury vs.Madison of 1803, wherein the SCOTUS said that “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”

          9. Bob says:

            You do read into rulings, don’t you? The ruling found the basis for judicial review of laws. I set the boundaries of separation of powers. Just because YOU find things “repugnant” does not mean they are not legal. I find you rants repugnant, but you still have the right to spew them.

          10. My rants are not laws, but laws that are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void. Interpretation is not required. That is what the Court said. I understand that you ignore and revile the Constitution, but that is what the Court said, and it agrees with what the framers said and did. The separation of powers were clearly delineated in the Constitution and can’t be changed without a constitutional amendment.

          11. Bob says:

            Your rants are absolutely not laws, nor are they even remotely correct. Actually, I revere the Constitution, which gives even morons the right to express themselves anonymously on internet message boards and under assumed names. I have fought and bled to defend those rights, and did so with out a game controller in my hands while sitting in my mother’s basement. Can you make the same claims? The thing I find “repugnant” is people who believe they have all the answers yet have probably not seen anything beyond the end of their own noses.

          12. Bob says:

            You were hatched, disqusting?

          13. At least an egg is a complete package, unlike your road kill likeness.

          14. Bob says:

            And an egg, like you, is unformed and incapable of independent thought.

          15. There is no point in being capable of independent thought if one is as ignorant as you are.

  • CCblogging says:

    I live 30 miles north of Tally Town and it’s a different mindset in south Georgia. We fly the flag and display it here.

  • Jose says:

    Here is one more reason (I am in the process of buying another home), I made sure there was no HOA involved in the neighborhood where I am buying. Just the letters hoa means ones liberty is restricted.

    1. WOA says:

      I DO have to put up with an HOA, but every time I have a dispute with the HOA, I threaten to remove my lawn and Xeroscape my entire property.

      In Florida, Xeroscaping trumps all HOA rules. Xeroscaping looks like Hell, but sure saves a lot of water.

  • mudguy1 says:

    Every Homeowner should wrap their mailboxes with an American flage.

    1. WOA says:

      Wish I could give you a thousand up-votes!

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  • TexRancher says:

    HOAs running amok! Little people with little minds who never had any power. I don’t know about Fla., but having dealt with these shrimps in Texas I learned a few things: The best was read the deed restrictions. In Texas, they are only enforceable as written and filed in the county courthouse word for word. They were limited to the original 20 years unless renewed with a vote by a majority of the OWNERS not renters yet many time the HOAs play word games with the wording and intent of the deed restrictions, changes which require a vote of the owners which they ignore.

  • Luis D Rey says:

    Right in this particular situation, Trump or one of his Lieutenants ought to stop what this crazy Tallahassee Demon-crap/Progressive/Devilish Board of HOA is doing to this Retired Patriot, etc.,

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