RACINE, Wis. — Memo Fachino and Lance Meir have displayed a rainbow Pride flag outside of their Racine house for the last five years. The couple has quite the reputation around the neighborhood when it comes to holiday decorations.
So, when they were asked to remove their rainbow flag by their homeowner's association ahead of Pride Month, they simply said, "we'll make it work."
They already had lights and decorations in-house from previous holidays, so they simply added colorful bulbs to their floodlights, creating a stunning rainbow reflecting across their home.
The couple created the light show after they received an email from their neighborhood homeowner's association asking them to take down their Pride flag. Fachino says he got the email a day after the group adopted a rule banning all flags other than the American flag.
The couple believes the rule came in as a result of the recent political climate.
"Due to some neighbors flying BLM flags, Thin Blue Line flags, and other opinion flags, our HOA decided last month that we're only allowed to fly the USA flag, and nothing else," Fachino wrote in a Reddit post. That post has since gone viral, garnering more than 6,000 comments.
Fachino, an active HOA board member himself, says he had no intention of creating any hostility towards the association. Rather, his intention was to respond in a creative way to comply with the rules.
"I think it's just definitely giving me an idea that it's not an unusual rule," Fachino said. "People are happy to be able to see that it can be done while still showing your diversity in a way that is within the rules."
The couple says they have always felt supported by their community and do not feel attacked in any way.
"We didn't feel targeted and there was no hostile communication or anything like that. I think it was just part of them enforcing the rule," Fachino said.
This story was originally published by Jessica Madhukar on Scripps station TMJ4 in Milwaukee.