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Mom’s flag honoring son who died in mass shooting has to go, North Carolina HOA says

The parents of a man killed in a mass shooting put up a flag in the front yard of their North Carolina home to honor his memory, media outlets report.

Then the homeowners association in Wake Forest ordered it taken down, they say.

Clayton Parks, 32, was among five people who died during the February shooting at Henry Pratt Co., a warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, WLS reported in February. He left behind a wife and 9-month-old son, the Chicago TV station reported. Four other employees were also killed by a gunman who began shooting after he was fired, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The shooter was killed by police.

The community rallied behind the families of victims and organized the Aurora Strong campaign, raising over $500,000, according to a GoFundMe page. A logo designed for the campaign was printed on shirts, coffee mugs and other products, according to Patch.com.

Parks’ parents, Dave and Leslie Kendra, bought a flag with the logo and flew it under an American flag on a 20-foot pole they installed at their home, WRAL reported. The homeowners association sent the parents a letter that the flagpole violated its rules and could lead to a fine of up to $100 per day, the Kendras told the Raleigh TV station.

A spokesman for the homeowners association said the dispute arose because the Kendra family installed the flag pole without approval, according to WRAL.

After WRAL reported about the fight in September, the homeowners association “dropped the fines,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

But the disagreement remains over when and where the family can fly the flag.

In a statement to the Chicago Tribune, the homeowners association said it extends condolences to the family and looks forward to “resolving this manner in an amicable and professional manner.”

The homeowners association told the Kendras that the flagpole must only be 15 feet high and shifted to the side of the yard, the newspaper reported. The Aurora Strong flag may be flown until Feb. 15, 2020 — the anniversary of the shooting — but after that the homeowners association will only allow the family to fly it on Feb. 15, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But the family wants to fly the flag all year.

“I feel like they are trying to take my son from me one more time,” Leslie Kendra told the Chicago Tribune.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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