A Vietnam veteran reinstalled a flag pole in his yard after decades of trying to resolve a dispute with Wyndham Homeowners Association in Henrico County, Virginia.
Nearly two decades ago, the HOA group in charge of the Richard Oulton’s private community told Oulton, a medic during the Vietnam War, that the pole unveiling an American flag violated neighborhood by-laws.
When Oulton refused to take the flag down, Wyndham sought to settle the dispute by taking Oulton to court.
Oulton was found guilty of violating Wyndham’s by-laws and he was forced to take the flag down.
“I’m standing in my front yard being told my American flag is a visual nuisance and I can’t fly it in support of the troops in Iraq. I think it’s horrible but I have to comply,” the Marine veteran said at the time.
For Oulton, the American flag that waved proudly in his yard symbolized something more than the love he had for his country. He said the flag with stars and stripes was a commemorative object that paid homage to the memory of the brave men and women who once fought the Vietnam War with him.
“For 749 Marines that I served with,” he said, “For their memory.”
Oulton did not give up his fight. Two decades after he was forced to take the flag down, he set out to battle again. This time, he had Virginia Delegate John McGuire (District 56), a former Navy Seal, on his side.
“The one thing that unites us in this country is that American flag,” said Del. McGuire, “And when I heard about that I was like, we got to get that American flag up.”
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