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Cary man fighting HOA to fly Confederate flag

Posted August 17, 2015

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— The homeowners association for Carpenter Village has ordered a Cary man to furl a flag that's been flying outside his home for a month that includes the Confederate battle flag.

Frank Bray said he doesn't believe the HOA has the right to force him to take the flag, which is an amalgam of the battle flag and North Carolina's state flag, down from his porch.

"It’s turning into a debate on the flag when this is really a homeowner versus a homeowner association," Bray said Monday. "I think the flag is getting a bad rap. The homeowners association is not treating me fairly."

Brian Edlin, the attorney for the HOA, said some people in the neighborhood complained about the flag, and the HOA reviewed the covenants for Carpenter Village, which state that approval is needed for "free standing flagpoles."

"It prevents flags from being flown without permission of the association," Edlin said. "The association has made the decision that the Confederate flag is not allowed."

Bray said the HOA didn't inform him which covenant he has allegedly violated, and no one has returned his phone call to the HOA management company.

"It appeared they were trying to enforce an ordinance they were pulling out of the air," he said.

Neighbor Bill Dempsey said he doesn't like the flag but said Bray should have the right to fly it.

"For a lot of people, it represents Southern pride, but it also represents something very insensitive," Dempsey said. "At this point in time, I don’t see why he needs to keep it up. You would think out of good judgment you would remove something like that."

Bray said he started flying it to make a statement when there was a nationwide backlash against the flag and other Confederate symbols in the wake of a June shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine people dead and an avowed racist in custody.

"I support the right of anyone in my neighborhood to fly whatever flag they choose to do, whether or not I agreed with their position on it," he said. "I think that’s my right also. If I'm in the wrong, that remains to be seen."

Edlin said the HOA could fine Bray $100 a day if he refuses to remove the flag.

54 Comments

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  • Mark Cline Aug 18, 2015
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    Wonder if they would be OK with an ISIS flag? Or, a Nazi flag? This is America. Remember, 1st Amendment? This is private property, however, one does agree to give up their rights when they live under an HOA. HOAs are for people who don't mind giving up their rights.

  • Freda Kerr Aug 18, 2015
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    Let me clarify my original post: I - as a woman of color - am quite aware of the "heritage" that is celebrated by the flag wavers. Many of those flag wavers do not. I am merely pointing out what was eloquently stated by those who wrote the secessionist speeches: that the traitors viewed people like me as not worthy of being treated with dignity and respect.

  • Freda Kerr Aug 18, 2015
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    The truth is hateful?!

  • Cary Tom Aug 18, 2015
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    Thank you. Well said. This apparently is the Heritage so many Johnny come lately's wish to embrace.

  • Scotty Cherryholmes Aug 18, 2015
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    In the 1860's, the Confederate battle flag was a symbol of insurrection against the United States, secession of 11 states, support for slavery, and a brutal war during which about 620,000 Americans were killed. In 1948 the battle flag was adopted by the racist and segregationist Dixiecrats. Additionally, during the civil rights struggle, various racist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan embraced the battle flag and proudly paraded it during their demonstrations. Also, it is interesting to note that South Carolina and other Southern states, in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's, when civil rights legislation was gaining traction, chose to raise the battle flags at their state capitols and elsewhere. This was seen by many as a symbol of systemic racism and support for continued segregation and discrimination.

  • Cary Tom Aug 18, 2015
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    Hey cmon WRAL screeners. Ive had comments banned for stating a lot less hateful speech than this

  • Cary Tom Aug 18, 2015
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    Some how Cary will survive without your dime

  • Cary Tom Aug 18, 2015
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    Incorrect. If you buy a house that is part of an HOA, you sign the covenants and sorry you agree to what the covenants say. Though in this case, the guy has a case due to the wording Free Standing flagpole...this is a porch flag

  • John Tavolacci Aug 18, 2015
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    Bottom Line.... there is way too much hatred in our society... We really need to love one another and to really focus on being Christ Like and open our hearts to one another.... It's not a Black vs White thing or a North vs South thing... We're All In This Together... and we need to start caring about each other..
    " END OF DISCUSSION"

  • Chris Hall Aug 18, 2015
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    The HOA is doing exactly what it was designed to do; enforce the very rules this man is whining about. If you do not want an HOA, do not move into a neighborhood with a....wait for it.....it's going to be a huge shocker......a HOA!!!!! I hate my HOA, that is why I bought 10 acres and am building house that I can run around naked, shoot, play loud music etc BUT I will respect the rules I agreed to like a ‘personally responsible’ adult until I move out. Strange concept huh?

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