Freedom to Display American Flag vs. Quiet Enjoyment

An interesting dispute has developed in Fargo, North Dakota. A homeowner has been displaying his American flag outside his residence for two years. His condominium association has taken issue with the flag, which apparently makes a lot of flapping noise in the wind and bothers his neighbors. The association has twice asked him to remove the flag and he has refused.

Two laws are at play here. The first is a homeowners right to quiet enjoyment of his/her property and the right to not be burdened with noise that can be prevented. The other is the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, which prevents associations from restricting displays of the U.S. flag on residential property.

The American flag at issue in Fargo

The association here has an interesting dilemma in that it is required to protect its residents, while at the same time may be prevented from restricting this particular resident from displaying his flag. It may be up to a court to determine if this flapping flag is too loud.

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