Villager complains political flag pitting neighbors against neighbors

A resident of the Village of Osceola Hills said a political flag has divided her neighborhood, pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Marie Persons, of 630 Woodbridge Way, spoke Thursday afternoon before the Community Development District 10 Board of Supervisors.

She described herself as a strong supporter of deed restrictions in The Villages.

She said a resident is flying a “political” flag under the American flag at a home in her neighborhood. She declined to describe the flag, even after CDD 10 Chairman Don Wiley asked her to do so.

A Trump Make America Great Again flag is flying at a home in the Village of Osceola Hills. The home is located directly across from Marie Persons’ home on Woodbridge Way.

However, she did not hesitate to describe the flag’s impact.

“Half the neighborhood is pitted against the other half,” Persons said.

She said she was told that items on display at homes in The Villages have to be “content neutral.”

“Supposedly, content neutral means you don’t have an opinion,” Persons said.

District Counsel Valerie Fuchs said the CDDs do not have any authority over flags.

“Flags are outside of our realm under Chapter 190,” Fuchs said of the Florida Statute which details the powers – and lack thereof – of community development districts in Florida.

However, CDDs in The Villages do have regulation over flagpoles, which can be a maximum of 22-feet tall. She noted that 95 flagpoles have been approved by the Architectural Review Committee this year in The Villages.   

Flags have been a flashpoint in The Villages.

In 2016, a Village of Winifred resident reported that her flag in support of Hillary Clinton was stolen from her home.

A Village of Winfred resident was flying a flag in support of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In October, a Village of Hemingway couple said they will continue their fight to keep an American flag in their yard. They are unhappy that their flag has been classified as a “lawn ornament.”