How can I find out if it's legal to fly a big-ass rebel flag in my city?

Back in the day of rampant football hooligans the Flag of St George was indeed tainted by right wing dipsticks.

Thankfully the worst of those days are gone and the English flag is just that, The English Flag.

wipes tear from eye and hums Jerusalem

Very short history lesson: What’s commonly called the Confederate flag was never an official flag of the CSA. (Article on the official flags of the Confederacy.) It is instead a sort of generic battle flag; there were many versions of it used by various regiments- most of the versions of the flags were square. The “rebel flag” as it is known now (a rectangular version that was mostly used by the small Confederate navy) was popularized many years after the Civil War ended first by movies and then by the KKK, so it is historically a supremacist symbol more than history.

Now this is not to say that most people who fly it are aware of this, but they should be.

Well, maybe he’s just in a nautical mood this month. :smiley:

Well, it sure makes the racist, ignorant assholes easier to spot from a distance.

I’ll echo what some others have said.

If there’s no underlying restrictive covenants or HOA agreements, and it’s legal under zoning (height, setback from property lines and other structures, fall zone, proper building permits), there’s not that much you can do. Other actions are likely to backfire.

I’ve seen a house in Las Cruces, New Mexico where the flag of Nazi Germany was flown high. Neighbors and the city couldn’t do a thing about it.

What is the evidence for this statement? It’s a flag, not a personality profile.

If I were interested in buying the house, I sure as hell would want to know if my potential neighbor was the type of person who would fly that flag. And if I didn’t know about him till after the sale, I’d be seriously pissed . . . enough to hire a lawyer to allow me to void the sale. I’m sure your friend has good intentions, but it could easily backfire.

Offer him $50 not to fly it for 6 months.
Add a case of premium beer, if he is reluctant.

Problem solved, cheap!

Again, you are responsible for maintaining your house and disclosing its condition to buyers during a sale. You have no responsibility to talk your neighbors up or down in any way, and it is probably a good idea not to get into details on the subject.

There would be no way anyone would have a case should they find out about a “bad” neighbor after a sale - indeed, how could this be proven? Bad neighbors are often perception driven.

What if a house was sold down your street and a redneck moved in and put up his own flagpole? Apart from the caveats mentioned above, what case would you have?

I’ll defer to lawyers on this, but if the guy is breaking no laws you have to live with him. And if you unknowingly move next to him, you have to live with him.

A house we looked at in an upper end, middle class neighborhood clearly let us (and other mixed race or black families) know how they felt by spray painting “niggers ain’t welcome” on the carport. We were happy they were ignorant enough to alert us to their ignorance. Home shouldn’t be a battle zone. We kept looking and eventually found a better house with great neighbors.

I seriously doubt that “the guy down the street is a racist” would be considered a legal reason to void the sale. You are not required to reveal the political leanings of your neighbors.

And if the neighbor was flying a Queer Nation rainbow flag, that would turn off potential conservative and Christian buyers, but either flag is a legitimate expression, and it would be a bad precedent to outlaw either.

The solution to this is to form a homeowner’s association. The bad thing about that is that you can’t do everything you want. The good thing is that neither can the neighbors…

You will occasionally run into the Southerner who says, perhaps jokingly and perhaps not, that the war isn’t over.

It is a flag that is also a definite statement about the person who flies it proudly.

Though out and open I’d never fly the rainbow flag, and it’s not from fear or shame but I just find such “flagwaving” displays of political or personal beliefs…well, for lack of a better word, tacky. I’m certainly “proud to be an American/where at least I know I’m free…” but I even think the U.S. flag should be displayed tastefully and size-appropriate (i.e. not some king-sized-comforter size overkill like the one on a great episode of Frasier).

That is not factually correct.

It is hard to deny that it is a reasonable assumption.

Do you really need me to spell it out?
eta:okay, this is GQ. It isn’t really the Confederate Flag, but rather one of many battle flags that was appropriated by the KKK.

I suppose one could just be displaying the “Confederate” Flag to show how much one is into the Dukes of Hazzard. Which reminds me of the weekend I spent visiting a potential college. The student hosting us had one hanging off the fluorescent lights in his room. My immediate response was, “So are you a redneck, or what?” Apparently that was his reason. So maybe he wasn’t a racist asshole, just an ignorant one. (And the college, which was trying hard to increase the diversity of its student body, should have been more careful about picking hosts.)


Since this is GQ, let’s try to keep this thread focused on the legal and factual aspects of this issue, rather than opinions or speculations about the personal character and motivations of individuals who fly this flag.

I note that Great Dave has started a Pit thread here where those who wish to may discuss more contentious issues. If this is what interests you, I strongly suggest that you take that discussion there.


General Questions Moderator

This idea has become popular on the internet in recent years, but it just isn’t true.

I won’t hijack the thread over it, but didn’t want to let it pass unremarked.