Thomas DiSario is not afraid to stand up for his beliefs, especially when it comes to honoring his deceased son, who was the former Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario.
Steven was shot and killed while responding to a hostage situation at a local nursing home in 2017, and Thomas has flown a thin blue line flag outside of his home sometimes since then, Fox 8 reported.
Unfortunately, his homeowner’s association is not a fan of free speech, and they sent a letter to DiSario asking him to take down the flag.
“The political sign in the form of a flag must be removed from your property. The flag on your pole is not a United States Flag. It is a political statement. Please remove the flag from your property,” the letter stated, according to Fox 8.
The HOA has extremely strict rules regarding political or religious displays in the neighborhood, which is incredibly inappropriate for a housing development in a country that prides itself on free expression.
“I spent 23 years in the military, and there’s no way shape or form that flag is being flown disrespectful at all,” DiSario said. “It has a 4×6 American flag above it, and the police flag is a 3×5 below it. It is no bigger than the top flag.”
“It represents my son and nothing else. So I don’t know why everybody is now harassing me that I have to take it down.”
An individual even reportedly came onto his private property to take down the flag, which some consider divisive and offensive. As a result, DiSario was forced to call the sheriff’s office, and they were unable to track down the man involved, Fox 8 reported.
While people are entitled to their own opinions of the flag, one can at least try to empathize with the personal meaning behind it for DiSario. The HOA should not even have policies that regulate the display of views from its residents, as it can result in situations like this one.
Thankfully, DiSario is not backing down.