People in California who live in communities governed by homeowners' associations often must comply with certain aesthetic standards. A lengthy battle over a U.S. flag in a flowerpot outside one man's home illustrates the costs that HOA disputes can inflict on a homeowner. The retired Air Force air traffic controller lived in a senior community in another state. He received a letter that called his flag in a flowerpot an unauthorized object. The violation produced a fine of $100 per day unless he removed it.
He refused to comply and eventually filed a lawsuit to assert his perceived right to fly the flag. He believed the issue to be settled in 2012 when the HOA relented, but the association changed its tactics. He said that they created a new flowerpot ordinance and resumed fining him $100 a day. The association also cited him for a Christmas display in a window.