Tallahassee Navy veteran told to take down patriotic mailbox cover

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A retired U.S. Navy commander is being told to remove a patriotic flag cover on his mailbox because it doesn't mesh with his homeowner's association.

"This is a very, very petty thing," said Tallahassee, Florida, man John Ackert.  "All I'm trying to do is display my feeling of patriotism toward America. I spent 30 years in uniform."

In a July 26 letter to Ackert, the Southwood Residential Community Association said the reason for the request was to protect the "aesthetic appeal and property values" of the neighborhood.

"As the holiday season has come to a close, please remove the American flag mailbox wrap," The letter read. "Decorations may be displayed 30 days prior to the associated holiday and must be taken down within 15 days after the holiday."

The association wants Ackert to either remove the mailbox cover within 15 business days or to submit a request to dispute the order.

Ackert said this is the first time during the four years he's lived in the neighborhood he's received such a complaint. Within a month of moving into the house, he added the mailbox cover.

"If somebody had complained about it four years ago, it wouldn't be such an issue," Ackert said.

Previously, the association asked him to remove a Navy sticker from his window, along with stickers showing support for the local sheriff's office and the Special Olympics. 

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