By Kendall Downing
GREENFIELD, Ind. — It’s a fight over a flag pole, and now lawyers are involved. A central Indiana veteran said his homeowners association wants his flag pole gone. But the man isn’t backing down, and he’s getting community support.
With scarecrows and flowers Bob and Judy Willits’ yard in Greenfield’s Fieldstone subdivision is neatly landscaped. But the flag pole in the corner, if you can believe it, is a cause for contention.
“I’m not mad at them, but I’m still not going to take my flag down,” said Bob.
He put it up in July. Soon after, the Fieldstone homeowners association (HOA) let he and his wife know the flag pole was against the rules.
“We had it for 22 years in the last place where we lived, and we just moved here 8 or 9 months ago. So, we had no idea they would be so hostile about the flag in our yard,” said Judy Willits.
The Willitses tell FOX59 the homeowners association suggested they mount the flag on their home, since free-standing poles are not welcome.
“We do not tell anyone they cannot fly a flag. What we are having a problem with is the flag pole. Flag poles are not allowed in this association,” said Kaye Eckert, president of the Fieldstone HOA board.
Eckert said the association has tried to compromise.
As a last-ditch effort in September, they sent a letter saying the couple could keep the flag pole, if they paid a $500 fine to cover legal costs. Bob Willits would not budge.
“That flag is very personal to me,” said Willits, “That means a lot to me.”
It’s personal because he flies a POW-MIA flag on the pole along with the American flag. He and his brother Lester were in Korea at the same time. Bob came back, but Lester did not.
“They can’t force me to take it down,” he said.
Monday, the Greenfield Veterans Honor Guard came out to the house for a special salute, a show of support.
The flags are still flying, but the fight does not appear to be over.
“It’s never, ever been about the flag, which that’s what seems to come to the foreground all the time,” said Eckert.
Both sides have consulted with attorneys. Eckert said Monday afternoon she does not know what is next, though she believes the board can not give in.
Bob Willits is adamant the flags are not coming down.