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Bill would prohibit Ohio homeowners' associations from banning "thin blue line" flag

A version of the "thin blue line" flag at the entrance to a housing development north of Columbus, along with an American flag.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A version of the "thin blue line" flag at the entrance to a housing development north of Columbus, along with an American flag.

Two Republican state lawmakers say homeowners’ associations shouldn’t be able to ban display of a flag that’s typically used to show support for police and law enforcement.

The bill would prohibit HOAs from banning the “thin blue line” flag, a black-and-white version of the American flag with a blue stripe.

Rep. Kevin Miller (R-Newark) was an state highway patrol trooper for 22 years before he was appointed to the Ohio House last year, and said homeowners should be able to fly this flag.

“I don't believe that's a political statement. I believe it's showing support for our first responders that risk their lives each and every day for all of us, regardless of what political affiliation you are," Miller said.

The thin blue line flag has become controversial as white supremacist groups and others opposed to racial justice have used it. The flag has also been displayed at rallies for former president Trump and Republican candidates.

HOAs in Ohio aren’t allowed to ban the American flag, the Ohio flag, the POW flag or military flags, and Miller and joint sponsor Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) want the "thin blue line flag" included too.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.