CULPEPPER, Va. (CNN Newsource) – A Marine veteran who fought for the U.S. flag is surprised to find himself battling for it again in his retirement.
When Richard Jenkins’ son gave him an American flag for Father’s Day, Jenkins had no idea the controversy it would stir.
“It means freedom. A lot of people that I know have fought for this flag,” said Jenkins who said he served in the Marines from ’61 to ’65. “As Americans, everybody should have a right to put a flag in the ground.”
Jenkins says the Willow Shade Homeowners’ Association wants him to take the flag down from a 20-foot pole he put in a planter in his front yard.
Then, the 77-year old’s neighbors started to raise their own flag poles—eight flags in all.
“I was the president of the HOA for eight years and the flag issue never came up,” said Wally Bunker who supports Jenkins.
“When [Richard] put up one, I said ‘I’ll put up one too. What’s the problem,” said James Jenkins, who is not related to Richard. “It’s too pretty to take down. Everybody likes looking at my flag.”
Jenkins admitted he did not get proper approval to erect a structure, which he said he didn’t know he needed in order to put up a flag pole that doesn’t block anyone’s view and is lower than his house.
“Why move here if you can’t follow the HOA rules which say you can’t erect a structure without getting approval first,” asked Reporter Tim Barber.
“Well Tim, let’s put it this way— there were no rules [about flags],” replied Jenkins.