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Veteran sues HOA for denying request to fly American flag

The suit says the man has never had a problem installing the pole and flag at previous homes.

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran is suing a homeowners association for denying his request to put a flag pole in his yard.

Robert Huey filed a lawsuit against the Palms 5th Avenue South HOA on Monday. The lawsuit states the HOA's architectural review board denied his June request to install a less than 20-foot tall freestanding, white, fiberglass flagpole to fly an American flag.

Huey served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and the suit says he has installed the pole and flag at previous homes without an issue. Huey argues there are no HOA rules regulating flying an American flag. Huey’s suit also claims the decision was unreasonable and arbitrary.

According to the suit, the main reason given against the pole by the HOA is “the flag constitutes a sign and that signs are prohibited" by HOA rules, except in a few circumstances.

Here are the other reasons why the HOA denied Huey’s request, according to the suit:

  • A. That such a flagpole and flag would quickly dominate the appearance of an entire section of the neighborhood where the currently-allowed small angled flag mounts directly to the home confine the appearance and “ownership” of the flag to that residence;
  • B. The erection of such a flag could lead to some sort of contest between property owners as to who has the largest flagpole or the best flagpole; and
  • C. That flags could be raised on such a flagpole that others might find offensive or unsightly, an example being the display of a Confederate battle flag.

Barbara Gebhart and her husband recently moved right next door to the Hueys.

Gebhart says she sees no problem with her neighbors raising the American flag.

"He's got a very patriotic spirit and I think it's really important to him that he puts that flagpole up," she said. "I think we should let him."

The Hueys weren't available for an on-camera interview Wednesday, but told News13 they're suing because flying the American flag is worth fighting for.

The lawsuit was filed at the Horry County Court of Common Pleas by Huey’s attorney John M. Leiter.