S.C. lawmaker pushes for right to fly U.S.flag Article Courtesy of The Sun News
By Zane Wilson
Friday, May. 17, 2002

COLUMBIA A Piedmont lawmaker got so angry when she read about a North Myrtle Beach incident in which a man was ordered to remove his U.S. flag that she rushed a law through the S.C. House to prevent such a thing from happening again. 
Rep. Becky Meacham-Richardson, R-Fort Mill, read about homeowner Mike Kaminsky being ordered to remove the flag from his residence. The homeowners' association later relented temporarily. 

"That made me so mad," Meacham-Richardson said. "It just incensed me that a 
homeowners' association would go to that extreme." 

Her bill, co-sponsored by 108 of the House members including everyone from Horry and Georgetown counties, would make it illegal to put in a lease or rental contract that a resident can't fly a U.S. flag, or for a homeowners' association to forbid it as part of their rules. 

"It's our flag. It's everybody's flag. We should never not be allowed to fly it," Meacham-Richardson said. 

She said she flies her flag at her house every day and that she also lives in an area governed by a homeowners' association and would not want to be told to take her flag down. 

The measure allows for flags no larger than 3-by-5 feet. 

She introduced the bill Tuesday and it passed Thursday, which is unusually fast. No one opposed her motion to consider it without referring it to a committee. 

"That's unbelievable. That's great," Kaminsky said Thursday when told about the bill. 

"I am very touched. I guess it made the whole thing worthwhile." 

But it's too late to get the Senate to take up a new House bill, without a two-thirds vote. Meacham-Richardson said she's confident she can get the necessary vote for the Senate to take up the bill and pass it before the session ends June 6. 

Rep. Tracy Edge, R-North Myrtle Beach, said he would help her. 

Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association adopted a rule forbidding flying any flags. When Kaminsky did not remove his flag, the group said it would fine him $25 a day. 

The association later said it would put up a flag at its clubhouse instead, and residents could fly their own flags only on certain days. 

Bill Wrenn, president of Fairway Oaks Homeowners Association, could not be reached for comment. 

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