The next flag pole flap in South Carolina?
Homeowner aims to keep flagpole in yard
Article Courtesy of Island Package Online
Posted 04 - 26 - 2003

James Dick has flown the American flag proudly in the back yard of his Eagle's Pointe home for more than five years.
But the Army veteran has been told by the community's property owners association that he has to take down his unapproved permanent flagpole before mid-May or start paying a fine.

A letter Dick received April 18 states he must take down the pole within 30 days of April 17 or pay a fine of $25 a day.

"I'm not taking it down. It's just not coming down," Dick said. "I just don't understand why after this amount of time they're saying I can't have it."

Eagle's Pointe Property Owners Association president Steven Emerick explained the delay in telling Dick about the flagpole problem by noting that the developer rather than the association had exercised control over the property until the beginning of 2002. 

"That's why it happened now because finally we had all the volunteers to get the work done," Emerick said. "It has nothing to do with the American flag."

Emerick said Dick could apply to the association for permission to have a flagpole. He said several removable flagpoles had

Eagle's Pointe resident James Dick flies an American flag from a pole in his back yard. 
been approved by the association, but nobody has asked to have a permanent flagpole.

But according to the letter Dick received, the association "does not allow permanent, fixed flagpoles."

Dick said he hadn't decided yet whether he would apply.

Dick said he put up the flagpole in February 1998 when he moved into the home he and his wife, Karen, had built. At his previous home in Rose Hill Plantation, he also had a flagpole.

The 12-foot pole is in a garden in Dick's back yard. The flag flying from the pole isn't visible from the front of his home.

"The only thing I fly is the American flag," the 66-year-old said. 

American flags are "on flagpoles as you drive into Eagle's Pointe. If they can have it why can't I?" he said.

State law requires homeowners associations to allow one removable American flag on each home but does not address permanent flagpoles. Beaufort County doesn't have an ordinance restricting homeowners from putting up permanent flagpoles as long as they are not in the right of way, code enforcement officials say.

The Town of Hilton Head Island requires permanent flagpoles to be set back from 20 feet to 50 feet, depending on the amount of traffic on the road, town planner Marcy Benson said. Residents in the town of Bluffton need to get a building permit before putting up a flagpole, and residents of the town's historic district also need special approval, said town planner Laura Bailey.

Although Dick is not in violation of the county or state law, the association has said he is in violation of the community's covenants.

Dick said he has flown an American flag in his yard for as long as he can remember.

He has contacted an attorney to see what he can do to keep his flagpole up.

"It's just that I'm proud to be an American," Dick said. "People die for the American flag."


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