CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — An attorney for a local homeowners’ association says a man’s Confederate battle flag is not an issue of ‘free speech’ and must be removed from outside of his Carpenter Village home.
Frank Bray, of Cary, was fighting the HOA notification to remove his flag, which features elements of the North Carolina state flag as well as the Confederate battle flag’s stars and bars. Bray says recent news events have unfairly made the battle flag into a symbol of racism. Bray believes his flag is a symbol of pride.
Monday, a lawyer for Carpenter Village homeowners’ association responded to WNCN, backing up the HOA’s demand for its removal, and saying that Bray himself had agreed not to fly that kind of flag outside of his townhouse as part of a purchase agreement.
In a statement, Attorney Brian S. Edlin tells WNCN:
Carpenter Village is governed by a comprehensive set of recorded restrictive covenants, which, in this instance, allows the Board to prohibit the confederate flag. While we certainly respect this Owner’s right to free speech, he has purchased property in a planned community which does regulate the type of flags that be flown from the townhomes and agreed, by law, to be bound by these covenants when he purchased his property. Accordingly, we are asking Mr. Bray to remove the flag. We view the matter as a private matter involving private restrictive covenants that all Owners have agreed to abide by in the neighborhood.”
Bray showed WNCN a letter from the HOA, which says there have been several complaints about his flag. According to the document, there was also concern that it would “hinder the sale of homes in the community.”
Bray said he is not backing down.
“It’s my right to fly whatever flag I choose to,” Bray said.