Now, aside from the "Homeowner's Association" milieu, which might lead one to dismiss the entire story out of a feeling of who gives a flea's hiney, this story does give great insight into the ways and the means of those who would control our thoughts if we let them.
According to an article in the NY times yesterday, free speech is still getting pummeled in conservative bastions everywhere. Last week, a couple were threatened with fines of $25 a day by their homeowners' association unless they removed a four-foot wreath shaped like a peace symbol from the front of their house.
The fines have been dropped, and the three-member board of the association has resigned, according to an e-mail message sent to residents on Monday.
Two board members have disconnected their telephones, apparently to escape the waves of callers asking what the board could have been thinking, residents said. The third board member, with a working phone, did not return a call for comment.
In its original letter to the couple, Lisa Jensen and Bill Trimarco, the association said some neighbors had found the peace symbol politically "divisive."
A board member later told a newspaper that he thought the familiar circle with angled lines was also, perhaps, a sign of the devil.
The peace symbol came to prominence in the late 1950s as the logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a British antiwar group, according to the group's Web site. It incorporates the semaphore flag images for the letters in the group's name, a "D" atop an "N."
Other people have said the upright line with arms angled down, commonplace in the United States in the Vietnam War, especially, has roots in the early Christian era, representing a twisted or broken cross.
Mr. Trimarco said he put up the wreath as a general symbol of peace on earth, not as a commentary on the Iraq war or another political statement.
In any case, there are now more peace symbols in Pagosa Springs, a town of 1,700 people 200 miles southwest of Denver, than probably ever in its history.
On Tuesday morning, 20 people marched through the center carrying peace signs and then stomped a giant peace sign in the snow perhaps 300 feet across on a soccer field, where it could be easily seen.
"There's quite a few now in our subdivision in a show of support," Mr. Trimarco said.
A former president of the Loma Linda community, where Mr. Trimarco lives, said Tuesday that he had stepped in to help form an interim homeowners' association.
The former president, Farrell C. Trask, described himself in a telephone interview as a military veteran who would fight for anyone's right to free speech, peace symbols included.
Town Manager Mark Garcia said Pagosa Springs was building its own peace wreath, too. Mr. Garcia said it would be finished by late Tuesday and installed on a bell tower in the center of town.