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Legislation Protecting the Freedom to Display American Flags Passes Ohio General Assembly

December 8, 2016
Republican Newsroom

State Representatives Tim Ginter (R-Salem) and Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) today announced that the Ohio House has concurred on changes made by the Ohio Senate to House Bill 18. The legislation prohibits landlords from restricting the display of the American and Ohio flags, service flags, and the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.

“After I heard how some of my constituents were being treated just for displaying their flag, I knew I had to do something about it,” said Gonzales. “This bill protects patriotism while respecting property owners’ rights.”

Stemming from an incident where an 86-year-old woman from central Ohio was barred from displaying an American flag in the home she was renting, the bill will keep manufactured homes park operators, condominium associations, neighborhood associations, and landlords from restricting the display of these flags.

"The U.S. flag has been a symbol of American courage and patriotism for more than 200 years, and those who serve in our military hold it in high reverence," said Ginter. "This bill simply ensures the right of tenants to display the United States flag, Ohio flag, the POW/MIA flag, or service flags approved by the United States Secretary of Defense."

The legislation will codify in the Ohio Revised Code the principles of the “The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005”. House Bill 18 expands on that act by including the Blue Star Flag flown by the families of deployed service members, Gold Star Flags displayed by the families of fallen service members, and the National League of Families POW/MIA flag displayed as a symbol of respect for POW/MIAs.

House Bill 18 now awaits the Governor’s signature.