Homeowners' efforts finally awarded!
Comment by Theodor R Wilks

Today on the first year anniversary of 9/11 adoption of changes in the flagpole restriction were announced both on the First Colony Community Services Association website and in the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. Attached is a copy of the Star September 11, 2002, front page article by Barbara Fulenwider and the new FCCSA Guidelines off the FCCSA website. As one of the nations largest planned communities, our homeowner's association, FCCSA, has established very reasonable guidelines for residential display of the American and State flags that can be referenced by other communities and local/state governments facing the same issue between HOA and homeowners. 

Thank you all for your pro-active support and guidance, especially Barbara Fulenwider of the Fort Bend/ Southwest Star. With all the negative news today, this small action shows what can be done in America when everyone approaches an issue with a positive attitude. 

Please Read : FCCA Modifies Flag Pole Guidelines
See the Modified Guidelines
Unreasonable and power-hungry board makes owner take down flag!
FCCS to adopt changes on flagpole restrictions

By Barbara Fulenwider

First Colony homeowner Ted Wilks got his way. Flags can fly from in-ground poles in First Colony front yards thanks to his protesting the deed restrictions that denied homeowner’s that right.

Wilks protest began in June when he complied with the restrictions and took down his pole and flag. But he also filed a modification application with the First Colony Community Services Association (FCCSA) aimed at changing the deed restrictions concerning permanent flagpoles in front yards.

Even though he got an e-mail from the group saying he could fly his flag on seasonal/holidays, Wilks took issue with that because he believes neither the American nor Texas flags are seasonal. He believed both should be allowed to be flown 24/7 and from permanent poles in front yards. So he met with the modifications committee on July 9 and proposed numerous changes to the restrictions.

The committee decided to poll residents via the FCCSA website to find out how other homeowners felt about it and when the committee met again with Wilks on hand, they adopted many of the changes he had proposed. The new restrictions allow a "temporary flagpole," one mounted in a sleeve so it can be removed, and "kept there only when the flag is displayed. Only one flag (either the U.S. or Texas) may be flown from this pole."

Further, the deed restrictions say that both house mounted and in-ground flagpoles must be removed from view when no flag is displayed and all flags and flagpoles "must be properly maintained at all times," which means no rust, bent or damaged poles and no torn, faded or frayed flags.

Also, flags cannot be flown from fences or shrubbery and all proper flag etiquette must be followed, which includes lighting at night. The light must be in ground with a minimum of two bulbs that total no more than 150 watts, must shine directly up at the flag and cannot spill into adjoining properties.

Permanent or temporary flagpoles may not be lower than 15 feet or taller than 18 feet, including pole ornamentation and the size of the flag must be appropriate to the height of the pole. Also, flagpole halyards must be securely fastened so they don’t bang in the breeze and disturb neighbors.

Poles in the ground must be metal and only white, silver or bronze and the ornament can only be a ball of the same material and color as the pole.

Even though the recommendations won’t be formally approved until the FCCSA board meets on Sept. 19, Wilks said, "I was proud of them all. These people are trying to work with us and they did. The modifications committee approved it unanimously. There was no dissent at all. I’m very happy with it.

"The basic restriction now for the front yard is the pole must be 10 feet from the property line. For permanent flagpoles, (those without the sleeve) residents must submit a modification request, which has to be reviewed," Wilks said. But approval "will be pretty automatic, if you follow all the rules."

Wilks followed the rules before and after he installed his flag pole kit. He removed it when told he was violating deed restrictions, put it back up when he was told it was allowed, and now can fly it lighted 24/7. Some battles are worth the effort.

Please read : Sugar Land man in dispute 

Announcement : FCCA Modifies Flag Pole Guidelines – WWW.FCCSA.ORG 
FCCA recently addressed the Modification Guidelines on the type of flag poles permitted on residential properties. Click more for additional information and link to new guidelines. After surveying the community through our web site and newsletter, the Modifications Committee made the recommendation to revise the current residential guidelines to allow permanent, in-ground flag poles to be placed on residential properties with certain restrictions on the type of pole, size, location, etc.


Article VIII, Section 5 of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for First Colony (the "deed restrictions") require that: "... plans and specifications showing the nature, kind, shape, color, size, materials and locations of such modifications, additions or alterations shall be submitted to the Modifications Committee for approval...." The following guidelines have been developed to assist Property Owners in complying with the above requirement of the deed restrictions.


(I)  The pole may be mounted on the house or garage on a permanent or temporary basis. 
(2)  A temporary flagpole may be placed in the ground and kept there only when the flag is displayed. 
(3)  Only one flag (either the United States or Texas) may be flown from this pole. 
(4)  If evening display of the flag is desired the house mounted flag may be lit from the base of the flagpole (maximum of two bulbs) with a total of no more than 150 watts. The light must shine directly up at the flag, and cannot cause any type of light spillage onto adjoining properties. 
(5)  Both the house mounted and in ground flagpoles must be removed from view when no flag is displayed. 
(6)  All flags and flagpoles must be properly maintained at all times, including, but not limited to, replacement of faded, frayed or torn flags; and replacement of poles that are bent, rusted or damaged in any way. 
(7)  Attaching flagpoles to fences or trees is not permitted. Flags cannot be displayed from fences or shrubbery. All proper flag etiquette must be followed. 

 For all flagpoles six (6') feet in length or shorter, no submission for approval is necessary provided these guidelines are followed. Any installation of a flagpole or flag not in compliance with these guidelines will be considered a deed restriction violation and will be dealt with accordingly.


The following guidelines gave been developed to assist the homeowner in complying with the above requirement of the deed restrictions. A modifications application must be submitted for review by the Modifications Committee for all permanent and temporary flagpoles taller than six feet. Formal approval from the Committee will be required before installation may begin. 

(1)  Permanent in ground flagpoles are generally defined as those that are installed in an appropriate footing (usually concrete) and are not meant to be removed unless the flagpole is being replaced. Temporary in ground flagpoles are generally defined as those poles that are installed in the ground by a sleeve system that is designed to allow the easy removal and reinsertion of the pole. 
(2)  The tops of permanent or temporary flagpoles may not be lower than fifteen (15') feet nor taller than eighteen (18’) feet when measured from ground level (including the pole ornamentation). The size of the flag must be appropriate for the height of the flagpole. 
(3)  Flagpole halyards must be of a type which does not make noise under any wind conditions. Halyards must be securely fastened. 
(4)  Poles must be mounted on an appropriate footing and if this footing is visible, it must be screened with adequate landscaping. All flagpoles must be installed per the manufacturer’s guidelines. 
(5)  The pole may be white, silver or bronze. Pole material must be metal. The only pole ornament that will be permitted is a ball of the same material and color as the pole. 
(6)  The preferred location for placement of the pole is within the landscape beds; however under all circumstances, flagpoles may not be placed more than ten (10') feet from the foundation of the house (residential structure, not from the front of an attached garage). On houses that have a front yard fifteen (15) feet or less in depth, the pole may be placed in a position, equidistant from the house's foundation and the sidewalk. Poles may only be installed in front yards and within the established building lines. Poles must be installed in a manner that prevents a view obstruction to neighbors. 
(7)  If a flag is to be flown daily (from dusk till dawn) then a permanent pole may be installed. If a flag is only going to be flown on specific holidays (as per the Flagpole Etiquette Guidelines) or less frequent that every day, then the pole must be a temporary in ground pole and it must be removed from the ground on those days that a flag is not being flown 
(8)  If the flag is to be flown after dusk, it must be properly illuminated per the Flagpole Etiquette Guidelines. The may be lit with an in ground light (maximum of two bulbs) with a total of no more that 150 watts. The light must shine directly up at the flag. It cannot cause any type of light spillage onto adjoining properties. 
(9)  Only the United States and/or Texas flags may be flown on these flagpoles. (For all other type of flag displays - i.e. seasonal, decorative flags - please see the Decorative Embellishment Guidelines). 
(10) The flag and flagpole must be properly maintained at all times. Should the flag become faded, frayed or torn; it must be replaced immediately. If the flagpole becomes scratched, dented, leaning; or if the paint is chipped or faded, it must be replaced or repaired immediately. 

Submittal Requirements: Include a completed Modification Application, a site plan showing the proposed location of the pole, along with pictures of the front of the house showing existing tree conditions. State the size and color of the pole.

 Any installation of a flagpole or flag not in compliance with these guidelines will be considered a deed restriction violation and will be dealt with accordingly. The Modifications Committee may use their discretion in homeowner requests related to flagpole size and location. These decisions will be considered on their merits, on a case by case basis. 
Excerpts from the Federal Flag Statute
The following flag laws and regulations are contained in the Public Law as amended July 7, 1976 by the 94th Congress of the United States. They set forth the existing rules, customs and etiquette pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America. 

 Display on buildings and stationary flagstaffs in open; night display. It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.

 Particular days of display
 The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on: New Year's Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Lincoln's Birthday, February 12; Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother's Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays. 

 The FCCSA Executive Director approved these guidelines on the ____ of __________, 2002 based upon authority granted by the Board of Directors. Changes to these guidelines may be made at any time without prior notice.

Sandra K. Denton, Executive Director