A Florida homeowners association has told a resident sheriff’s deputy to remove his “Blue Lives Matter” flag from his home.
Sean Kennedy, a 25-year officer, lives with his wife and children in a subdivision in New Port Richey, Florida. It’s a deed-restricted community where lawns are neatly mowed and cars are parked in garages.
Over Kennedy’s garage flies a “Blue Lives Matter” flag, which he said he’s had up for years. The flag looks like an American flag with the exception of black stripes and a blue stripe for law enforcement and a red stripe for firefighters.
“People don’t really understand that flag. It’s nothing to do with police,” said Kennedy. “It’s police that have been killed. The meaning of the flag is to support police that have been killed. Not police that are active right now working. “
The association said in a letter to Kennedy: “While we support your patriotism, the American Flag does need to be the traditional American Flag.”
Neighbor James Adams doesn’t understand why the association is asking Kennedy to remove the flag.
“I understand that there are certain guidelines and bylaws that we have to follow,” said Adams. “But that’s a little much.”
Kennedy said a member of the association told him someone complained.
“I think it’s self-explanatory what’s going on in the world,” said Kennedy. “The hatred of the police because of one horrible action by a guy in Minnesota just tarnishing everybody.”
Kennedy said a number of neighbors have weighed in and supported his right to fly the flag. He said he has no intention of removing it.
“I’m not taking it down. It’s something I’ve worked for for 25 years and I believe in, so … and it’s definitely not racist, it’s definitely not hatred,” said Kennedy. “It’s a tribute to law enforcement officers and firefighters who died.”