What is the world coming to when a 90 year old Medal of Honor recipient from World War II can't raise his American flag because some asinine neighborhood association has "aesthetic issues" with his flagpole?
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Barfoot received a letter yesterday that orders him to remove a flagpole from his yard. Every morning he raises the American flag but this somehow offends the board of directors of the Sussex Square community where he lives. Barfoot's daughter says there is no provision in the rules that says he can't have a flagpole, but it was ordered removed anyway. It seems that the association prefers short flagpoles fixed to your house instead.
Should he lose his case he will be "subject to paying all legal fees and costs in any successful legal proceeding" taken by the homeowners association.
From the Medal of Honor official site, here is his citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano, Italy. With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot (then Tech. Sgt.) moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers.
Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank.
As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.
Barfoot fought for that flag. He put his life on the line and saved the lives of others for that flag. It's a sad, terrible day in America if he isn't allowed his flagpole.
(Photo credit: Joe Mahoney: Richmond Times-Dispatch)