Community rallies behind Kissimmee army veteran in battle with HOA to fly Puerto Rican flag

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — More than 1,100 people are standing with a Kissimmee army veteran fighting her homeowners association to fly the Puerto Rican flag in front of her home.

Frances Santiago said she was flying the flag in support of the fight to get Puerto Rico's governor removed.

The Rolling Hills Estates asked Santiago to remove the flag or possibly face a fine.

HOA bylaws outlaw all flags, but the board made an exception for sports flags and American flags, as well as flags used to honor first responders and fallen officers.

Santiago asked for an exception and was denied. The board never explained its decision.

Alianza for Progress, which supports Puerto Rican and Hispanic issues, learned of the story by watching the news.

The group posted a petition online Tuesday night after hearing of the story and has since gathered over 1,100 signatures from people from Florida and across the country.

"The HOA is within its rights to tell her to bring it down, but she's within her rights and we support her to say, 'Why this flag?' said Alexander Barrio of Alianza For Progress.

The HOA released a statement saying that it "treats all owners the same and the board is following regulations."

Channel 9 requested comment from the HOA, but has not received a response.

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Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.