This report is from our sister station WNCN in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
CARY, NC (WNCN) — A Cary man is fighting an order from his homeowner’s association to remove a Confederate-style flag that’s flying on his front porch.
Frank Bray says he purchased the flag, which features elements of the North Carolina state flag as well as the Confederate battle flag’s stars and bars, in reaction to recent news events, he believes, unfairly depicts the flag as a symbol of racism. It’s flying outside his home in the Carpenter Village neighborhood.
“I’m proud of where I’m from,” Bray said. “There’s no malice or ill-will behind it.”
But in a letter from Omega Association Management, Bray is notified that his flag represents a violation of HOA rules.
“Please be aware that this type of flag is not permitted in the community,” the letter reads. It goes on to say, “We have received several complaints regarding the offensive nature of your flag, as well as concerns it may hinder the sale of homes in the community.”
Bray said he purchased the flag believing it was an historic North Carolina state flag, but after speaking with an historian, he found out it was actually not a historically-accurate flag. Now, he plans to replace it with the flag of the Confederacy, which is different from the Confederate battle flag.
To Bray, whose doorsteps are lined with American flags, the style should not matter.
“I personally think this is a first amendment issue and I think the association is overstepping it’s bounds,” Bray said.
Neighors who spoke to WNCN were divided.
“The moment I saw it, I’ll be frank, I thought it was a Confederate Flag,” Rhett Smith said.
Smith said he understood both sides of the argument, but another neighbor was not as understanding.
“That flag, they just took it down in another state,” Tre David said. “You might as well go ahead and take it down too.”
Bray said he is not backing down.
“It’s my right to fly whatever flag I choose to,” Bray said.
WNCN News has reached out the Omega for comment, but have not yet heard back. Bray said he has not been told what will happen if he decides to leave the flag up past the Monday August 17 deadline.