A Marine Corps veteran’s battle with a retirement community over his quest to fly two flags outside of his home has come to a close.
Captain Jim Lowe of Griffin, Ga., was hoping he’d be allowed to fly both the American flag and the Marine Corps colors, but his request has been denied because it does not meet the community’s rules and standards.
Lowe and his wife face large fines if they fail to take one of the flags down, so they are now planning to move out of the Sun City-Peachtree community.
The problem is that residents there are only allowed to fly one flag, as per the neighborhood’s bylaws, WAGA-TV reported. But Lowe, who served in the military, believes the Marine colors deserve to be displayed alongside the American flag and he has fought for the right to have both outside of his home.
While he sees the two flags as complementary, the board of directors at Sun City-Peachtree has a very different view on the matter. The banners, local leaders argue, are separate and therefore violate the stated regulations.
Arguing that the Lowe family knew the rules before moving in, the board indicated that it has no plans to change the bylaws to accommodate Lowe’s request. In a statement, leaders noted that a recent poll of residents did not indicate that there was an overwhelming push to amend the rules.
On Monday, Lowe was officially told to remove one of the two flags he currently has outside of the home. Moving forward, he and his wife have only two options: They can choose to ignore the rule, which would result in a $25 per day fine and a potential lien against their home. The other option is to move to a different community. They’ve chosen the latter.
“When a bunch of arbitrary rules trump the Constitution, it’s a sad date because indeed a piece of America is lost,” Lowe told WAGA, decrying the fact that he believes the community is controlling how he exercises his patriotism.
The family has made friends at Sun City-Peachtree and is reluctant to leave, but they simply can’t afford the fines.
“We loved it here, but now we’re going to have to find somewhere else to go. We just can’t afford it. I mean it would wipe us out completely,” his wife, Sandy, added.
Featured Image Credit: WAGA-TV