COLUMBUS, Ohio — A bill that could prohibit landlords and homeowners' associations from banning the display of the thin blue line flag is being discussed in the Ohio Senate. House Bill 100, the Chief Steven DiSario Act, has already passed the Ohio House. It is now in committee in the Ohio Senate.

What You Need To Know

  • House Bill 100 is being sponsored by State Rep. Kevin Miller

  • The bill has passed the Ohio House of Representatives, and now is in the committee process in the Ohio Senate 

  • The sponsor said House Bill 100 would have a positive impact for law enforcement 

“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of him,” said Tom DiSario, the father of former Kirkersville Police Chief Steven DiSario. “And even now, I’m not over it. I’ll never be over it.” 

DiSario’s son was killed in a shooting almost seven years ago. It was the worst day of his life, DiSario said. As a father, he had to experience seeing his son’s body. 

“I demanded to see the body,” DiSario said. “They showed it to me and I just lost it.” 

Disario’s son died in the line of duty, and he said he wanted to fly a Thin Blue Line Flag to commemorate his son’s legacy. However, he faced some pushback from his neighborhood. He allegedly was forced to take down the flag after receiving a letter from an HOA management company called Omni Community Association Managers. He was told the flag in his yard violated deed restrictions in their neighborhood. 

“I believe that that Blue Line American Flag represents all the officers in the United States,” DiSario said. 

According to DiSario, The National Police Association filed a lawsuit against the homeowners’ association, which previously sparked national attention. The Thin Blue Line flag became controversial as some people compared the matter to flags used in other political and social movements such as Black Lives Matter.

Disario’s case was ultimately dismissed, and he took down the thin blue line flag. Still, the incident did not sit well for him, and he said it was another reminder of taking down his son’s legacy. In Ohio, military flags and the Ohio State Flag are protected under the law. State Rep. Kevin Miller, a former law enforcement officer, is advocating to add the Thin Blue Line flag to the protected list. Miller stated a flag is not a political statement, and it is simply meant to show respect for law enforcement.

“It’s my goal with this bill to allow folks to display those flags in their honor to commemorate the service,” Miller said. “That those individuals have given their community and the ultimate sacrifice that they made. I think the difference between this flag and any other flag we may be talking about is it goes back to the purpose, the meaning of the flag.” 

“I will be very proud when it gets signed,” DiSario said. “And I can put my flag back up and nobody will ever tell me to take it down again.”