There's a world of difference between the words "shall" and "may."
"Shall" usually means must. "May" means permissible.
Using the right word might well settle a fuss stirred up by several American flags being displayed in Copper Ranch. The Copper Ranch Homeowners Association, represented by property manager Brian Emerick, points to rules allowing the organization to prohibit outdoor displays and has said the flags must go.
One Old Glory in particular is among those the association would banish—a flag displayed by parents of an American GI deployed with the Boise National Guard. They refuse to take it down.
This sort of dispute throughout the nation led to passage of the "Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005," which the GI's parents use in defending their display of the flag.
But Emerick cites a provision in the law allowing homeowners groups to impose some restrictions. Therein, "allowing" homeowners groups to impose restrictions lies a sensible solution.
At a time when "Support the Troops" is a national credo and when the valley is sprinkled with yellow ribbons symbolizing hopes for the safe return of local soldier Bowe Bergdahl, held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Copper Ranch group should bend.
Old Glory should never be considered a nuisance. Those who display it do so with pride of country and, if it's the case, honor of loved ones going into harm's way.
The homeowners group should do its part by supporting this patriotic sentiment.