HOA Frances Santiago Puerto Rican flag Homeowners Association Rolling Hills

A Kissimmee HOA Tries To Force Army Vet to Remove Puerto Rican Flag from Her Property

Proud Boricuas Frances and Efraín Santiago flew their Puerto Rican flag high over their Kissimmee, Fl., home in support and honor of protesters in their home country. Homeowners in their subdivision launched complaints against them with the Homeowners Association (HOA). An unidentified associate  from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter with a warning at their home, citing a “flag violation.” The message said: “Please rectify the listed violation, or you may incur a fine.”

Related Story: Ricky Martin Protests Puerto Rico’s Governor: #RickyRenuncia

Frances Santiago, 38, is an army vet. She is from Puerto Rico and spent 14 years in the army as a medic. Her time in the military consisted of serving two tours in Iraq.

According to a story in Remezcla, Santiago’s community has gathered around her to support her right to fly the bandera above her home despite objections from Rolling Hills Estates HOA.

“I fought for this, to be able to do this. So, I don’t see a problem with flying my flag here,” Santiago told WFTV News in Florida.

The Homeowners Association banned all flags but made exceptions for the American flag, one that honors first responders and fallen officers as well as sports flags.

Santiago requested an exception be made for her patria’s bandera after all to be Puerto Rican is to be American. The HOA refused Santiago’s supplication without any further explanation. However, she refuses to take it down.

“I flew the U.S. flag for almost a year and nobody went and complained or left a note at my door,” she said. “I think it’s likely motivated by ignorance not prejudice or discrimination — at least that’s what I want to believe.”

An online petition created and posted last Tuesday night has more than 2,000 signatures.

The HOA released a statement stating that it “treats all owners the same and the board is following regulations.”

The board had the authority to allow the army vet to keep her flag. It is not clear why the HOA refused. There doesn’t appear to be any Latino board members on the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association.

Kissimmee is a city with one of the largest Puerto Rican populations outside of the island, especially after Hurricane Maria.

 

 

 

Latest News

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…

Black Lives Matter Protest

Florida Passes Controversial ‘Anti-Protest’ Bill Designed to Weaken Black Lives Matter and Other Social Justice Movements 

In a play designed to make it harder for social justice advocates to gather and promote change, the Florida Senate has passed a controversial so-called “anti-riot” bill inspired by the recent increase in protests by groups such as Black Lives Matter. Dartunorro Clark of NBC News has reported that “the…

Disney

Disney Theme Parks Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Efforts for Workers

Following long-term COVID-19-related closures, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has opened back up for business and California’s Disneyland is slated to reopen on April 30th. The family-friendly company also took some time away from celebrating its big news to announce some inclusive and diversity-promoting efforts it had implemented during the…

PwC’s Leah Houde on How To Reimagine Ways to Higher Education Despite Rising Costs and Barriers to Entry

Originally published on LinkedIn. Leah Houde is PwC’s Chief Learning Officer. PwC is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   The economic and societal gap in our nation is growing. The pandemic has only exacerbated this divide, disproportionately ravaging Black, Latinx and underserved communities. Barriers to education continue to drive wedges between…