LAVEEN, Ariz., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The American Civil Liberties Union says it's backing an Arizona man against a homeowner association rule against flying the Gadsden Flag in front of his house.
Andy McDonel says he put up the coiled snake banner bearing the slogan "Don't Tread on Me" this year as a tribute to the military and Founding Fathers, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.
The flag's history traces back to an illustrated comment printed in 1751's Pennsylvania Gazette by Benjamin Franklin that the American colonies should send rattlesnakes to England. Franklin suggested it as a symbol for America describing it as "an emblem of magnanimity and true courage," the Web site FoundingFathers.info said.
The image of the coiled snake morphed over the years and in 1775 settled into its present incarnation, which has become an emblem for the Tea Party Movement, the newspaper said.
McDonel's homeowner's association has referred to the flag as "debris" that breaks neighborhood rules. McDonel says he's not flying it as a political statement.
"I like the historical meaning of the flag," he said. "This is not political. There's no way I'm affiliated with any tea-party movement."
The ACLU sent a letter to the homeowner's association saying the flag shouldn't be restricted.
Javier Delgado, representing the Avalon Village Community Association, sent a letter to the media, saying the flag isn't among those exempted by state law from being regulated by community associations, the Republic said.