Mother of mass shooting victim wins partial victory vs. HOA over flag honoring son

PHOTO: Leslie Kendra is in a dispute with the homeowners association in her North Carolina neighborhood about the flagpole she and her husband erected in their front lawn.PlayCourtesy Leslie Kendra
WATCH News headlines today: Nov. 14, 2019

There's movement in a battle over a flagpole, and it's not caused by the wind.

A grieving mother in North Carolina has been in a months-long dispute with her homeowners association and property management company after they said that she was violating their rules by putting up a flagpole in her front yard.

The flagpole wasn't just a symbol of patriotism, with an American flag a top, but also with a flag with the logo for "Aurora Strong," memorializing the murder of her son at a workplace shooting in Illinois earlier this year. Clayton Parks was one of five killed in the February shooting, and his mother, Leslie Kendra, lives in North Carolina.

The homeowners association first told Kendra and her husband, Dave, to remove the flagpole because they didn't submit an application before installing it.

Then they told the couple they could keep it but that they had to lower it from 20 feet to 15 feet and move it from their front yard to a side yard. Most hurtfully to the Kendras, they were told they could only keep the "Aurora Strong" flag up until the day after the anniversary of the shooting, and then fly it only on the shooting's anniversary.

"It's like someone is taking him from me one more time," Leslie Kendra told ABC News on Friday.

PHOTO: Leslie Kendra is in a dispute with the homeowners association in her North Carolina neighborhood about the flagpole she and her husband erected in their front lawn. Courtesy Leslie Kendra
Leslie Kendra is in a dispute with the homeowner's association in her North Carolina neighborhood about the flagpole she and her husband erected in their front lawn.

Hours later, the Porto Fino Board of Directors issued a new letter to the Kendras that amended their decision once more, saying that they can keep the "Aurora Strong" flag up for however they want but still need to adjust the height of the pole and move it to their side yard.

"The Board and PPM would like to extend their sincerest condolences to your family for your loss and looks forward to an amicable and swift resolution to this issue," the Porto Fino Board of Directors wrote in a letter to the Kendras received on Friday.

The spokesperson from the property manager did not respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment about why the flagpole needed to be moved.

That's the question Leslie Kendra, a 62-year-old-retiree, still has.

"If there's not a problem with displaying my flag, then why are they telling me to move it?" she told ABC News.

The flag pole is telescopic, meaning the height can be easily adjusted. Leslie Kendra said they didn't so much take issue with the idea of lowering it to 15 feet, but relocating it to a side yard presented a logistical issue because of a drainage system, linked to a pool, which they also had been told to put on the side of their house.

She said they've reached out to the management company to talk about the logistics after they received the most recent letter, but that the office is closed for the weekend.

"I'm glad that they changed their mind about the 'Aurora Strong' flag," she said. "That makes me very happy."