On June 10, 2015, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 18 regarding the display of service flags in both condominium associations and planned communities in Ohio. This Bill was updated prior to vote to include additional types of approved flags that an association must allow. Under the language of the Bill, an Association cannot enforce a rule or provision in their documents against the display of specific types of approved flags. The original version included the expansion of the right to display flags to include U.S. Flags as well as service flags approved by the Secretary of Defense for display in windows of the immediate family of those persons serving in the armed forces. The updated version adds the ability to display the national league of families POW/MIA flag in the same manner as the United States Flag. House Bill 18 was presented to the Senate for consideration on June 11, 2015.
It is important to note that the House Bill is noticeably silent on the display of Ohio’s State Flag. Around the same time the House first introduced House Bill 18, the Senate introduced a similar bill as Senate Bill 84. The original Senate Bill that was proposed contained language to allow for the display of the State Flag in addition to the service flags. The Senate Bill was adopted by the Senate on June 25, 2015, and sent to the House for consideration on June 26, 2015.
The Senate and House will now send the Bills to committee for review prior to vote. It remains to be seen whether the final version of this Bills, once approved, will allow for display of the State Flag. We will continue to keep you updated as to the progress of this and all other legislation affecting community associations in Ohio.