Red, white, and blue: Tips for displaying the Stars and Stripes

The Star-Spangled Banner. Old Glory. The red, white, and blue. No matter how Americans refer to the U.S. flag, everyone has the right to fly it. Flag Day, held annually on June 14 since 1916, should serve as a good reminder for how all should properly and proudly display the Stars and Stripes.

Thanks to the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act, enacted in 2006, residents in community associations have the right to fly the flag even if there are rules and restrictions that prevent it from being displayed. CAI believes, however, that associations should be able to determine the appropriate size, placement, and installation of the flag and flagpoles.

CAI encourages associations to follow the guidelines for flying Old Glory in the U.S. Flag Code, some of which includes:

  • Display the flag in public from sunrise to sunset. It can be displayed at night if it is illuminated during darkness.
  • Do not display the flag in inclement weather, unless it is an all-weather flag.
  • The flag can fly on all days, especially on national holidays, other days that may be proclaimed by the president, and dates of admission of states into the union.
  • Do not position the flag upside down. This represents a signal of distress in moments of extreme danger to life or property.
  • Do not let the flag touch anything beneath it, including the ground, floor, water, or other objects.
  • No part of the flag should have any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

Need more information about rules and regulations regarding flags, banners, and emblems? Read Everyday Governance: The Community Association’s Guide to Flags, Rentals, Holiday Decorations, Hoops, and Other Headaches, available from CAI Press.

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The Styled, Staged & Sold Blog Has Moved!

The Styled, Staged & Sold Blog Has Moved! Styled, Staged & Sold is settling into a new home. Please bookmark our new URL or subscribe to our updates to get the latest staging advice.June 10, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyStaging,...

It’s hurricane season: This is what you need to do before, during, and after a disaster

Fourteen named storms—including seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes—are expected to form during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1. The Weather Company expects the season to be slightly less active than last year but warns that residents along the coastal U.S. should be prepared no matter the forecast.

For community associations in these states, that means reviewing current emergency preparedness procedures for before, during, and after a hurricane, what supplies to include in emergency kits, and who to contact in the immediate aftermath.

Standard features of a hurricane plan include emergency contact information, responsibilities of the board, management, and residents, and a list of services that might be unavailable during and after a hurricane.

More specifically, this plan should have several checklists, including those that cover:

  • Actions for the community’s incident commander
  • Tasks that residents should complete before they evacuate
  • Pre-storm and post-storm communications
  • Post-storm grounds survey and cleanup
  • Post-storm inspection of residential units

In addition, the plan should have a prepared notice advising residents of an impending hurricane and the risks of staying, a form to be filled out by residents who decide to stay, and what residents should know about the association’s insurance coverage and reserve funds.

Community associations also can make a list of relief organizations at the local and national level that residents can reach out to for help, as well as detail the process to seek aid and debris removal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Maintaining communication is critical during and after the immediate danger has passed. Determine which residents or board members will be on call in the event of an emergency, and identify if any ham radio operators live in the community or in the immediate area in the event that cell towers are rendered inoperable.

Does your community’s hurricane plan cover everything? Access more resources on CAI’s Community Disaster Preparedness & Relief pages.

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Eye-Catching Home Accents That’ll Make All the Difference

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating You want potential buyers to remember a property from the moment they step though the front door. Think beyond just furnishings and décor and present a lifestyle that they can envision—all through memorable, engaging home accents. Add in Pops of Bold Hues For the gorgeous […]

Post responsibly: How to avoid legal risks and negative effects on social media in your community

Social media tools are a great way for community associations to increase engagement with their residents, but they can leave communities vulnerable to potential legal risks if managed inappropriately.

Adopting a social media policy can allow communities to assign responsibility over its use and minimize abusive practices, says attorney Katrina Solomatina of Berding & Weil in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor, as well as websites, online newsletters, and email blasts, allow community associations to facilitate communication between homeowners, provide real-time updates, and give members the ability to offer instant feedback to the board.

At the same time, social media can be abused by users through practices such as cyberbullying, defamation, and invasion of privacy, Solomatina notes.

Comments made through social media can have a negative effect on a community. That’s why it’s important for communities to determine who will manage and update social media platforms, who will monitor and respond to comments, who can control or remove content, who can post, and what type of content is prohibited. Community associations should adopt a policy that covers the above.

When an association operates a closed group or discussion board, like Nextdoor, for residents, Solomatina recommends a user policy that includes the following terms:

  1. You must be a resident or property owner in the community association
  2. Anonymity is prohibited
  3. You must use your real name
  4. Be respectful of others at all times
  5. Ranting is prohibited
  6. Personal attacks are not tolerated
  7. Commercial advertisements are prohibited
  8. Violators will be suspended

Solomatina will be presenting a session—Social Media: Community Association Friend or Foe?—at the 2019 CAI Annual Conference and Exposition: Community NOW, May 15-18, in Orlando.

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