Marine told to take down American flag at his condo

Condo board changes flag policy

MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA9) -- A U.S. Marine combat veteran had been told to take down the American flag he flies outside his condominium in McLean.

He contacted WUSA 9 and just one day after our inquiries, the condo changed its tune.

Paolo Advincula had been flying the Marine Corps and U.S. flags outside his condo for months, until security told him to take it down.

"You can't fly the Marine or the American flag. The American flag only during a holiday. July 4th is coming up, you can fly it then but right now you can't fly it. But I said there shouldn't be a rule. It's the American flag it's freedom of speech," Advincula says.

Advincula, a combat Marine veteran who fought in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom was stunned.

"Then he said: 'Don't try to pull a fast one because I myself am a combat vet and this has been the rule at the Rotonda for 30 plus years," recounted Advincula.

The Rotonda Condominiums went on to tell him why he needed to take down his American flag.

Advincula said the condominium told them he couldn't fly the American flag because it's a community filled with international residents and it might offend the residents that can't fly their own flag.

"That's not the point this is the United States we should be able to fly our flag," said Advincula.

It turns out Advincula is right. According to federal law, the American Flag Act of 2005 and signed into law in 2006 allows residents in condos to fly the American flag.

The general manager of the Rotonda didn't want to go on camera but says because we brought this to his attention they're changing the condo rules.

General Manager Jim Tracy writes: "After careful review of the current law we will update our regulation to permit the display of the American Flag at any time. The individual complaining will be notified of this change today. We will not permit the display of any other flag than that of the United States."

"It goes to show rules can be changed for the better. This was absolutely the right battle to fight. I'm not only doing this for myself but for all veterans who fought and all the proud Americans out there," said Advincula.

Home Owner's Associations recently have been enforcing the rules of prohibiting flying the U.S. flag.

"To me being a veteran, everyday is a holiday in this country, that's why i choose to fly my flag every day," said Advincula.

While the U.S. flag is fine, the Marine Corps flag is not. It has to come down, because there is no law protecting his right to fly it.

Also, Advincula has set up an online petition to allow all Americans to fly the flag on their property. Click here to see the petition.


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