Proposed Ohio bill would keep HOAs from banning thin blue line flags
“I don't believe that's a political statement,” Rep. Kevin Miller, a former state Highway Patrol trooper, said
By Amanda Spence
ETNA, Ohio — A proposed bill would keep homeowners’ associations from banning thin blue line flags in Ohio. The bill proposal comes after a man’s ordeal with the HOA to fly his flag in honor of his son.
Two Republican lawmakers – Rep. Kevin Miller, a former state Highway Patrol trooper for over two decades, and Rep. Tim Ginter – are jointly sponsoring the measure, according to WOSU.
“I don't believe that's a political statement. I believe it's showing support for our first responders that risk their lives each and every day for all of us, regardless of what political affiliation you are," Miller explained.
In May, Thomas DiSario received a letter from his HOA asking that he remove his thin blue line flag in front of his home. DiSario displayed the flag for his son, Chief Steven Eric DiSario, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2017. He had flown the flag ever since then.
The HOA claimed the flag violated a rule about displaying political signage. “The political sign in the form of a flag must be removed from your property,” the letter stated. “The flag on your pole is not a United States Flag. It is a political statement.”
DiSario didn’t agree, stating, “It represents my son and nothing else. So I don’t know why everybody is now harassing me that I have to take it down.”
The HOA’s president told NBC 4 that “[DiSario] agreed by buying in this community that he can’t display what he wants to display. It doesn’t matter whether we agree. If it’s a sign, you are not allowed to post it, according to the deed restrictions.”
DiSario’s neighbors started to fly the thin blue line flags in their yards after the man was ordered to remove his flag in a showing of solidarity. “We wanted to show respect for our neighbor. And we appreciate the service that his family member gave,” Kathy Riddle, a neighbor, told KATV. “It's growing. You see more flags out every few days.”