A homeowners’ association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.


The association in this 200-home subdivision 270 miles southwest of Denver has sent a letter to her saying that residents were offended by the sign and the board “will not allow signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive.”

The subdivision’s rules say no signs, billboards or advertising are permitted without the consent of the architectural control committee.

Kearns ordered the committee to require Jensen to remove the wreath, but members refused after concluding that it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn’t say anything.

Kearns fired all five committee members. ~CNN

Via Clark Stooksbury

You have to admire the pettiness of people in these little positions of power.  It will accomplish nothing of value, but Kearns has made his point and established his authority over the subdivision! 

A wreath in the shape of a peace sign is so innocuous and inoffensive that it probably ranks among the more neutral symbols one might put up to express the desire for “peace on earth, goodwill towards men.”  Were this to happen on a university campus and a professor or student were prohibited from having some sort of explicitly Christian symbol or message on his office or dorm room door at Christmastime, you had better believe that we would be hearing about religious discrimination and the godless oppressors of academe (and these critics would have a good point).  But it does not require much imagination to guess that the response from the professional War on Christmas watchers will be one of silence or only the mildest of rebukes.  The assumption that a peace symbol during the Christmas season  must have overtly political meaning is simply amazing.  This makes roughly as much sense as those who think that creches on public property are the first step towards theocratic domination.   

More depressing in a way than this pointless attack on a harmless wreath is the deadening uniformity that this association can impose on the subdivision’s homeowners.  Leave it to naturally conformist Americans to create private bureaucracies and committees to ensure homogeneity and uniformity of appearances.  This reminds me of nothing so much as Californians and other transplants who move into semi-rural or small-town locations in the Southwest and set about trying to regularise everything and bring it up to their own codes of zoning and restrictions.  Rustic and charming have their limits, after all. 

Update: Bob Kearns is really out on a limb–even Don Surber realises that Kearns is being a fool.