When we lived in Miami we lived under the thumb of an HOA [Homeowner’s Association]and it was brutal. Everything outside the fence, like the lawn, was the responsibility of the HOA, though we could do planting beds along the fence about two feet … and only two feet …wide, while everything behind the fence was ours and we could do whatever we wanted.
One year we had redone our courtyard patio at the front of the house and created a lovely path around the house to the backyard; it had a kind of Asian feel to it, and we noticed a neighbor had a new gate into his yard that looked Asian-inspired. And so we hired him to build a gate for us, and it turned out beautifully; we decided to paint the gate ed and I hired a woman who makes handmade tiles to do a tile mailbox for us. When it was all done, it was gorgeous … until the HOA told us we couldn’t have a red gate and that we needed to paint it the same color as the brown fence. We weren’t happy, but we did so, though we kept it red on the inside.
I loathe an HOA and we vowed to never live under one again, which brings me to this story …
A Reddit user, who lives in Wisconsin and goes by the username @memon17, posted about their Pride decoration in the subreddit MaliciousCompliance. In the post, they revealed that their HOA announced a new rule that allows homeowners to only fly the American flag on their properties, after some residents had put up Black Lives Matter flags, thin blue line flags to show police support and “other opinion flags”.
A day after the announcement, they received an email notifying them that someone had reported the Pride flag that they have displayed on their front porch since 2016, and that they needed to take it down; and so they did. But, after removing the flag, @memon17 looked through the new rules, only to discover that removable lights are permitted .. and so they purchased multi-colored lights to decorate their house in rainbow colors:
“We complied and removed the flag … [then] we bought six colored flood lights, and we washed our house in Pride colors. A little less subtle than our simple flag. A lot more fun for anyone complaining about the flag itself and what it represents.”
I think it looks gorgeous!
The clever bending of the rules has been met with hundreds of thousands of supportive comments, with many applauding the Reddit user for finding a way to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community and Pride month without a flag.
In a follow-up to the original post, the user added that they don’t hate their HOA, nor do they believe they changed the flag rule to “attack me personally,” but that they ultimately decided to decorate their home with rainbow-colored lights to “show [their] individuality while still following the rules”.
As for what they will do if their HOA updates the rule to also restrict lighting, the Reddit user joked that they would “have to paint the grass then.”
I’ll bring the paint.