54% of my block flew an American flag today and what this means

On a quick walk on this July 4th morning, I counted the number of residences on our block with an American flag on display. In roughly a quarter-mile of houses, 22 of 41 residences had a flag. What might this all mean? Several ideas:

Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com
  1. The July 4th holiday tends to bring out the flags to symbolize the United States of America. Yet, is the number of homes with a flag displayed different than displays for other holidays? I would guess the numbers are not that different on this block regarding those who put something up for Christmas or for Halloween, the two primary holidays for decorations. I do not know if some people are celebrating all of the holidays or if different people are celebrating different holidays but this number of flags does not seem out of the ordinary.
  2. I have read online in multiple places that Americans are enthusiastic in displaying their flag compared to residents of other countries. Connected to #1 above, perhaps the real test of this is to see how many residents display flags when there is not a patriotic holiday? (At the same time, they might be frequenting other places that have a flag including schools, civic buildings, and churches.)
  3. YouGov recently released data on how Americans regard flags. Even with declining patriotism and less regard for the flag from younger Americans, 77% had a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” view of the American flag. This is quite a bit higher than any other flag asked about. The more popular a flag is, the more likely it is for homeowners to display it?

The use of flags in suburban settings and among single-family homes with their connection to the American Dream could make for a fascinating study, if it has not been done already.

Homeowners’ associations and flying flags

An Arizona man is fighting his homeowners’ association over flying a “Don’t Tread On Me Flag.” While this may appear to be a political situation, it is a broader issue: there have been numerous battles over the years between residents and homeowners’ associations over things like flying flags.

On one hand, homeowners’ associations are trying to maintain a certain image in the neighborhood. On the other hand, their rules are extensive and can often appear heavy-handed. However, this Arizona man and many others have a few options that would limit situations like these: don’t move into neighborhoods with such associations (and they are quite common) and know what the restrictions are before purchasing or become involved with the local association and change the rules. As in this situation, two American desires are in conflict: the desire to maintain some local control (and perhaps boost property values) and the desire to be individuals who can express themselves.

Overall, homeowners’ associations are common today in America. According to the Community Associations Institute, there are over 305,000 “association-governed communities” with over 60 million residents.