Associated Press

Legion praises dropping of flagpole lawsuit

Calling the decision of the Sussex Square Homeowners Association Board to withdraw legal action against a World War II hero, "a great decision," American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill congratulated all parties involved.

Retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a Medal of Honor recipient, erected a flagpole with the U.S. flag in the yard of his Henrico, Va., residence over the summer without the association's permission. The association threatened legal action unless Barfoot removed the flagpole, resulting in a fallout that included The American Legion, the White House and several U.S. senators siding with Barfoot.

"This is a victory for reason and I applaud the board for making the correct decision to permit this American hero to honor Old Glory in such a fitting way, every day, on his property," Hill said. "I also commend Legionnaires and all Americans across the country who flooded Col. Barfoot, the association and The American Legion with letters, e-mails, phone calls and messages of support and tribute."

Because of the controversy, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., and Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Va., introduced a resolution, H. Res. 952, allowing Medal of Honor recipients to properly display the U.S. flag on their property at all times.

"I thank the law firm of Marchant, Honey & Baldwin for their pro bono efforts in resolving this issue. There is always room for discussion and solutions to be achieved within the system," Hill said. "In this case, the homeowners association recognized the remarkable sacrifice and devotion of this true hero and acted wisely within the boundaries of their authority to do the right thing. We understand and appreciate the important role homeowners associations play in local communities. The American Legion encourages all homeowners to continue to properly display Old Glory."


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  1. I think we all should be able to raise the American Flag on our own land. Especially for the Veterans that fought for our Country.
  2. I just want to thank Mr. Barfoot and all the veterans for all that they have done for this great country. God Bless America!
  3. Mr Barfoot is a true hero and continues to lead with his principles. I'm proud that the association decided to the right thing.
  4. In response to Sen McKeon's House resolution bill 952... "H. Res. 952, allowing Medal of Honor recipients to properly display the U.S. flag on their property at all times." Any American Citizen should have the right to appropriatly display the flag without reproach. It is as much a right as it is a privelage for living in this beautiful country. The HOA should be ashamed of themselves, and should be fined appropriately for such poor judgement.
  5. This is all out of wack. As I understand, the association never said no to flying the flag. He could always fly the flag off his house or garage. The association had a rule against the flag "pole". This problem should have been addressed prior to the pole being erected.
  6. Our forefathers fought and died for this flag (and the right to display it) in many wars since the Boston Tea Party was initiated by Samuel Adams on Dec. 16, 1773. It is the right of every American, especially a Medal of Honor winner to display the flag on his or her property. I would hope that this right would be one that every Ameriacan would fight to their death to keep. Let no one try to take this right from me!
  7. My flag flies proudly, 24-7, from a 20' flag pole off my front deck! Of course, there is a spot light on it after dark. Ain't nobody going to tell me NOT to do that! I'm retired US Army, Commander of my local DAV chapter, Past Commander of a Legion Post and a member of the VVA. Way to go, Col. Barfoot! Someone has a problem with MY flag? Come on up to the house! Be armed! --Grumpy
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