ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — In a show of solidarity, people gathered in Rockledge’s Ashwood Lakes subdivision Sunday after a renter received a letter from a representative of the homeowners association ordering her to remove a rainbow flag from her house.
Jennifer Raymond never imagined she’d get this level of support after telling her story to Channel 9 after she received a letter comparing her rainbow flag to the Confederate flag.
“It immediately went viral and blew up,” said Raymond. “I couldn't keep up with how fast things were happening, really.”
Raymond said her landlord received an email last week from a member of the neighborhood's architectural review committee, saying only American, state or military flags may be flown.
When it was pointed out that the community bylaws don't mention flags, the member cited part of the "ground maintenance section," saying it was deemed offensive and detrimental to the subdivision.
"Allowing the flag to be flown is setting a precedence for other homeowners to fly other offensive flags -- for example, the Confederate flag," the email said.
Raymond said she was astonished by the email.
"The Confederacy supported slavery," she said. "(The rainbow flag is) a symbol of equality and acceptance of all."
The homeowners association immediately contacted Raymond to tell her should could not only keep her flag, but the person who had sent her landlord the letter was not apart of the board and acted on his own without their permission.
Within a day, multiple rainbow flags began popping up in front of homes along her street, including in front of board members of the HOA.
Raymond said Sunday’s rally, which gathered about two dozen people on her front lawn, was the HOA’s idea to reiterate its message of support and equality throughout the community.
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