HOA demands father of fallen officer take down ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag that’s flown on his lawn for 5 years
The father of a dead police officer was outraged when his neighborhood’s homeowner’s association informed him he had to remove a flag he’d had on his property since May 2017.
The “Thin Blue Line” banner honors his son, who was murdered while responding to a shooting at a nursing facility in Ohio.
Thomas DiSario has memorialized his son, Steven Eric DiSario, by flying a rendition of the American flag outside his Etna, Ohio, home for the past five years. Thomas explained that it’s been flying since May 12, 2017. The only time it comes down is when it’s worn out and he replaces it.
The original flag, which was a gift from Steven’s coworkers and has since been replaced. The flag had not been displayed for several months since the flagpole needed to be repaired. Thomas was just lately able to replace the flagpole and the flag.
But, not long after his son’s homage was restored, Thomas was confronted by someone who did not want to see his Thin Blue Line flag flying high. He explained that he had a gentleman come in, lower the flags, and he wiped his face on them.
Thomas, a crippled veteran who requires oxygen, was shocked and requested the individual to leave his home. The individual declined to go. Thomas got him out of his yard yet the individual reappeared and removed both Thomas’ American and Thin Blue Line flags. The sheriff’s office was called by Thomas, but officials were unable to find the culprit.
A few days later, Thomas ran into another issue when his HOA notified him that the Thin Blue Line flag was considered a political statement and had to be taken down.
The term “thin blue line” dates back to 1854, when it was applied to a British fighting formation. Similar expressions were used to refer to other occupations, but by 1922, the thin blue line had become associated with police.
The thin blue line emblem has become connected with the Blue Lives Matter movement and white supremacists over the years. While the flag has many admirers, it is considered controversial.
Thomas disputed the HOA’s letter, claiming that his flag is not political. He stated that he has served 23 years in the military, and that flag is not being flown in any way that is disrespectful.
However, according to David Dye, president of the Omni Neighborhood Association Managers, when Thomas acquired a property in the community, he consented to certain restrictions, one of which is what may and cannot be shown.
“Sometimes signs disguise as flags or light displays,” Dye explained. “The board has accepted this, and we don’t get to assess what it says as a sign.”
He also said that the HOA had earlier had to request that a sign promoting a nativity exhibit be removed. The individual who took down Thomas’ flags days before is not affiliated with the HOA.
“It signifies nothing except my son.” So I’m not sure why everyone is now hounding me to take it off.”
What are your opinions on Thomas DiSario’s son’s flag? Should he be permitted to retain it, or should he be made to take it away?