Many homeowners’ association prohibit the display of signs in open view. Homeowners’ association bylaws are not laws in the customary sense, but rules and regulation agreed to upon the purchase of a property. Homeowners associations are notorious for applying bylaws with some laxity; yet one homeowners association in Louisiana has decided to take a rule against posting signs in plain view literally and there would appear to be an agenda behind the action.


The couple in question is reporting that they are being sued by their homeowners’ association for refusing to take down a banner honoring their son’s military service.

The Burrs of Bossier City, La., hung a banner on their front lawn in January after their son, 20-year-old Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Corey Burr, deployed to Afghanistan. The 3-by-6-foot banner includes a picture of their son in uniform with the words: “Our son defends our freedom!”

The Gardens of Southgate Association sent several letters to the Burrs demands they remove the banner because it violates subdivision bylaws prohibiting homeowners from erecting signs in public view. The lawsuit against the couple was served several of weeks ago after the Burrs refused to take down the sign.  

In an interview with Ms. Burr indicated that the association covenant state no sign on any lawn in view of the public, but the association’s lawsuit employs “selective enforcement,” indicating that “numerous signs are displayed throughout the neighborhood” that have never been challenged by the association.

“It shocks me greatly,” Burr said, noting that lawns in the small military community — situated right near the Barksdale Air Force Base — have signs supporting everything from sports teams to local schools.

Why the association would choose to target a family that is proud to have a son deployed to Afghanistan is a bit of a mystery, unless there’s other motivation at hand. Could it be that on the board of directors of the association sits one or more members who are anti-war or anti-military? If that is not the case, why single out the Burrs for taking the extraordinary step of filing a lawsuit?

There’s nothing wrong with being opposed to war. It should be something that is taken very seriously and entered into with the greatest of caution; however when a family takes pride that a member of their family is risking life and limb to protect that very right of the association’s board to enforce their bylaws seems rather silly.

Clearly the Burrs are extremely proud of their son’s service, as well they should be. If the sign was of such dimensions as to create a hazard in the community, a simple letter requesting they display a smaller sign would not seem totally without reason; however this isn’t the claim being made by the association. We allow judges some discretion is deciding a case, a wide latitude on meting out justice and clearly the association has chosen in the past to look the other way relative to signage. Only one conclusion can be reached and that’s that the association or some of the members of the board are so anti-military that they are offended by the Burr’s display of pride in their son.

Hopefully rational people from the community of Bossier City, La.; most of whom are quite pride to have Barksdale Air Force Base as a neighbor, will implore the association that support of those who risk their lives in service of their country deserve all of our pride and respect, and will back off from the lunacy of suing one of the own for exhibiting that pride.