Local News

Cary man fighting HOA to fly Confederate flag

Posted August 17, 2015 6:28 p.m. EDT
Updated August 17, 2015 10:49 p.m. EDT

— 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.