PALM COAST, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local man has been fined $1,000 over his refusal to take down a flag representing the Wounded Warrior Project.
Thomas Bagnoli, who resides in the Grand Haven community, has been feuding with a homeowners association that has demanded the removal of the flag from his backyard.
Despite the fine, Bagnoli told WJXT-TV that he will not take the flag down.
“I get angry. I really do,” he was quoted as saying to the station about the situation. “They say, ‘Sorry, you have to take it down.’ I refuse to. Their punishment for me is a $100 per day fine for 10 days, with a maximum of $1,000.”
Bagnoli has reportedly lived in the community for the past 13 years without incident, until he hung the Wounded Warrior Project flag approximately one year ago.
Now, the association is threatening that a lien could be placed on the house, in addition to the fine, if the flag remains after two more months.
Still, Bagnoli says he is staying strong on the matter.
He told WJXT, “They can do whatever they want. I’m doing what I want. I feel strongly about this.”
According to WFTV, Bagnoli would be permitted to hang a flag for the Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force, as well as flags advocating for prisoners of war or soldiers missing in action. Only the Wounded Warrior Project flag has caused conflict.
The station additionally learned that strangers and friends alike have supported his stance, with one person even offering to pay the fine so long as the flag stayed up.
“I’ve gotten notices from people saying keep up the good work, don’t back down and stuff like that,” he told WFTV. “And I won’t. I feel it’s necessary.”