You sign a lease, you abide by the lease.

Unless it comes to flying an American flag from your balcony!

That’s the angle one Phillipsburg Housing Authority resident is using to defend her flying of the Stars and Stripes in defiance of a lease agreement that denies her the ability to do so.

Dawn Paulus, who is a Phillipsburg Housing Authority resident, claims the agency is taking away her constitutional right to fly the American flag.

She’s has refused to take down three American flags hanging from her balcony at the John F. O’Donnell Apartments after housing authority officials have asked for them to be removed.

“They told me I can’t have the American flag up, because someone else might hang up a Nazi flag,” Paulus said. “They’ve sent a maintenance man over to take it down, but I didn’t let him take it down.”

Phillipsburg Housing Authority Executive Director Paul Rummerfield said he asked Paulus to remove her flags because they violate her lease agreement.

“It’s not about the American flag,” Rummerfield said, noting it’s also not an issue of patriotism or respect for veterans. “It’s about lease enforcement and how we have to adhere to federal laws and safety rules.”

Rummerfield said the lease states tenants shall not hang anything on the balcony out of safety and discrimination concerns.

“If the screw isn’t cranked down tight enough, the flag holder could fall down and hit somebody walking underneath,” Rummerfield said.

Another tenant at the apartment building, who wished to remain anonymous, said he is also refusing to take a flag down from his balcony.

Under the Fair Housing Act, if the nonprofit allows tenants to hang flags, Rummerfield said, they can’t discriminate on what flags are flown.

“Once you allow anyone to hang the American flag or any flag, then you have no recourse when someone hangs a flag that may be objectionable, such as a pirate or Confederate flag,” Rummerfield said.

Rummerfield said an option for Paulus is to get a base for the flags and to put them on a porch table.

If tenants continue to disobey the agency’s requests, Rummerfield said eviction is always a possibility, albeit an extreme one, when a resident is violating a lease.

My take: Rummerfield is an idiot! He has grounds to prohibit her from flying her flag for safety concerns. Once he mentioned the possibility of getting a base for the flags and putting them on a porch table, he opened up the can of worms that any other flag could be displayed in such a manner, such as a “pirate” flag.

(Where the frig did he get that one?)

Hence, anyone could display a “pirate” flag from a base mounted on a porch table, causing God knows what kind of controversy!

Your take: