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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