Va. veteran battles homeowners group on flag issue

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Associated Press

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 3 at 4:46 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A 90-year-old Army veteran who won the Medal of Honor during World War II is battling his homeowners' association for the right to fly the American flag from a pole in his front yard.

Col. Van Barfoot says he erected the flagpole in September. The homeowners' association at his suburban Richmond subdivision told him that the free-standing pole violates aesthetic guidelines and ordered him to remove the structure or face a lawsuit.

Barfoot won his medal for actions in Italy in 1944 and is one of about 90 surviving Medal of Honor winners. He's also won the Purple Heart and other decorations.

Neighbors have expressed their support, but ultimately it's up to the nine-member association board on whether they will grant an exception to the rules.

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