A Homeowners Association (HOA) recently ordered a disabled military veteran, Tom DiSario, to remove his “Thin Blue Line flag.” But now, almost a dozen neighbors are also flying the flag in solidarity with the veteran.
DiSario had been flying his flag for the last 5 years in honor of his son, a police chief who lost his life in the line of duty.
WBNS-TV reported that DiSario even received support from a group of around 20 police cruisers, belonging to several different Licking County law enforcement agencies. The caravan was flying the “Thin Blue Line” flag as they drove past his home, located in Etna, Ohio.
Around a week ago, the Omni Community Association Managers sent DiSario a letter, in which stated that he was ordered to remove the flag from his property, as reported by WCMH-TV.
It was revealed that DiSario had been flying the flag since May 12, 2017, when his son Steven Eric DiSario was killed while responding to a call.
DiSario’s son was the newly appointed police chief of Kirkersville. He was just 38 years old when he was killed, leaving behind seven children.
According to the HOA, since it was not the United States flag, that makes it a political statement that needed to be removed. DiSario claimed that he had also been flying a much bigger U.S. flag, which is placed right above the flag in question.
DiSario also stated that this flag represented his son and nothing more. After having served 23 years in the U.S. military, he claimed that he would never disrespect his country and didn’t understand why he was being harassed.
DiSario’s neighbors showed their support and hung the flag in solidarity with him.
DiSario’s neighbor Wally Baumbusch said that he was not flying the flag in his yard, but when things got controversial, he decided to order one and put it in his yard. He also added that flying the flag in question is a constitutional right that must be defended.
Another neighbor Matt Westlake claimed that hanging up the flag was no different than building a rock garden memorial in the honor of a deceased loved one.
While talking with WBNS, a spokesperson from Omni stated that the rule could be reversed and changed if the board decides to revise the deed restrictions, with 75% of homeowners needing to vote in favor of the change for the end of the restriction to be finalized.