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Swede Fights for Right to Fly Native Flag

April 12, 1990

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A Swedish woman whose flag was removed from a condominium flagpole says she’ll go to court to fight for the right to fly the banner of her native country.

Zenta Rowley, who moved to the United States from Sweden five years ago, hired an attorney after her flag was removed last week from the community flagpole at Mariner Village.

″This is ridiculous. I like my flag and I know my rights,″ said Rowley, who was given the blue-and-yellow banner recently by friends from Sweden.

″What she wants to do is something very patriotic that doesn’t hurt anybody in the neighborhood,″ said her attorney, James Rich.

The president of the Boynton Mariner Village Homeowners Association, Mark Ifill, also is seeking advice from a lawyer. He refused to respond to Rowley’s accusation that he was responsible for the flag’s removal.

The Swedish flag was taken down a few hours after Rowley raised it on the complex’s flagpole, beneath the U.S. flag. Also on the pole are four nautical flags that signify the village association.

Rowley said she then collected signatures from 34 of the 36 unit owners supporting her effort to fly the flag and checked with Boynton Beach officials to make sure city law doesn’t prohibit display of foreign flags.

″We don’t have any problems with it - as long as the American flag is on top, of course,″ Code Enforcement Administrator Scott Blasie said.

But Rowley must get permission from her homeowners association before the Swedish flag can be flown, said complex manager Gene Schuler.

″It is a shame that you need attorneys for something like this, but sometimes there is no other choice,″ he said.

″If you let the Swedes fly their flags, then you have to do the same for the Mexicans and Italians, which could lead to a lot of problems,″ said Schuler.

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