Condo board wants soldier's Canadian flag to come down

A member of the Canadian military is being told the Canadian flag attached to his home has to come down because it runs afoul of condo board rules.

Military member told he can't fly flag in front of his house

Maj. Michael Mitchell said he doesn't understand why his flag is a problem. (Ryan Tumilty/ CBC Ottawa)

A member of the Canadian military is being told the Canadian flag attached to his Ottawa home has to come down because it runs afoul of condo board rules.

Last year, Maj. Michael Mitchell put up the flag on a pole just over his garage door at his home in the city's west end, near Carlingwood Mall.

"I thought it would be nice to have a flag up for Canada Day," he told CBC Radio's All In A Day.

The flag rustled in the wind for eight months before it became an issue.

This week, Mitchell said he got a note from the condominium board saying the flag had to come down because it violated rules against attaching anything to the front of the house.

If he had known about the rule he probably would not have put the flag where it is, but he also noticed the rule seems to be loosely enforced in the community, he said.

"My wife took a little walk around the condo community ... and there are about 30 other houses with stuff attached to the front of their houses," he said.

The flag runs afoul of condo board rules that prevent residents from attaching anything to the front of their homes. (Submitted by Carolina Ayala )

Not backing down 

He and his wife plan to go to the next condo board meeting to discuss the issue. They don't want to remove the flag and hope something can be worked out, he said.

He also doesn't believe the board has any say over his front lawn, and said he would consider a flagpole there.

Major Michael Mitchell was told he has to take the Canadian flag off his condo townhouse garage by the end of the week. 5:54

The couple came across a piece of federal legislation passed in 2012 that requires condominium boards and apartment rental companies to encourage people to use flags.

The private member's bill originally called for sanctions against any company that tried to prevent someone from flying a flag, but the provisions were pulled back.

Mitchell said his understanding of the board's rule is that it's meant to keep homes looking neat and uniform, but he doesn't understand why a flag would be a problem.

"They want to keep it clean and looking nice, and I understand that, but a Canadian flag? Does that look bad in front of my house?"

CBC reached out to the condominium company, but the board's president was not immediately available.

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