Houston man frustrated with realtors placing flags in yards

The flags include realtor's names and contact information, which the Houston man considers a violation of the U.S. Flag Code

HOUSTON - A Houston man is frustrated that Houston realtors have been placing flags in front of homes throughout southwest Houston.

The flags include their names and contact information, which Jim Colby considers a direct violation of the U.S. Flag Code.

The code states that flags should not be used for any advertising purposes and advertising signs shouldn't be fastened to the flag's staff.

"If you have to put your name on a flag, that's not really patriotism. It's really more self-serving than anything else," said Colby.

Over the last several years, Colby has taken pictures of the cards attached to the flags in southwest Houston.

In some cases they have names and in other cases business cards are included.

Colby has a son enlisted in the military.

"When you have someone in the military, you start to get tied into all the networks. You see the people killed in action, you see their pictures and it really moves you. The next time I saw a flag with someone's name on it, it made me furious," said Colby.

The practice of realtors placing flags in neighborhoods has been going on for years.

Residents Local 2 spoke with didn't seem to mind.

"It's a good feeling for me to drive down the street and see the flag out. I thank the realtors who've done that," said resident Lynn Larson.

"We love the flags in the neighborhood and we love the kids strolling up and down with the flags. We think it adds so much and no one's taken them down that we can see," said neighbor Elizabeth Shaw.

But Colby said the flags are left out at night and even after they're broken.

Local 2 reached out to one realtor who placed flags in the neighborhood.

She said she doesn't consider the flags advertisements.

She called them a friendly gesture and added they are placed there by boy scouts, who know how to handle the flags.

Colby has reached out to city officials and even national organizations to try to put an end to the practice, but he says it's up to all of us to fight for our flag.

A spokesperson for the Houston Association of Realtors said he's aware of realtors placing flags in front of neighborhoods as a patriotic gesture but it has never been singled out as a legal conflict.

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