The Washington Post: He served in Vietnam. His HOA just ordered him to remove an American flag from his mailbox.
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
August 7, 2017
There is a woman who rides around John Ackert’s Tallahassee subdivision in a golf cart, noting all the ways her neighbors’ homes don’t measure up to the standards set by the Southwood Residential Community Association.
Ackert is trying very hard to not detest her.
The 82-year-old retired Navy commander said he once received an official-sounding letter saying he had to take military and Special Olympics stickers off his front door, or face exile from the community’s tennis courts and swimming pool. He removed the stickers with minimum grumbling.
But a letter two weeks ago made Ackert and some of his neighbors see red. It was about the American flag.
Well, technically, it was about a vinyl mailbox covered with a picture of the American flag. Ackert put it on his mailbox a month after moving into the Southwood community in 2013 and replaced it whenever the Florida sun baked out the colors.
Recently, he said, the homeowners association wrote to him, saying the flag mailbox violated the community covenant and had to go. If he did nothing, the letter said, the HOA would fine him and could ultimately place a lien on his home. Read more: