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Flag Waving Florida Veteran Could Lose Home

The Jacksonville man’s homeowners’ association says his placement of a small American flag in a flowerpot is “unauthorized.”

A Jacksonville man could lose his home over a small flag placed in a flowerpot.
A Jacksonville man could lose his home over a small flag placed in a flowerpot.

Old Glory isn’t welcome in Jacksonville’s Sweetwater community.

That’s the message 73-year-old Larry Murphree has received from his homeowner’s association. The group says a small flag placed in a flowerpot outside his home is an “unauthorized object,” according to Fox News Insider. The group began fining Murphree $100 a day for the violation. Charges now total about $8,000.

“I want it to go away,” Murphree told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It's such a minor little thing and they keep coming after me.”

And, come after them they have. The association is threatening to move into foreclosure proceedings if Murphree doesn’t pay up, Fox News Insider reported.

The battle between Murphree and the homeowners’ association has been going on for quite some time, First Coast News reported. In June 2013, he filed a federal court lawsuit to defend his right to put stars and stripes in a flowerpot. That suit was dismissed and deferred to state court.

As it stands right now, Murphree is being charged $100 a day in fines for keeping the flag intact, First Coast News said.

Legal expert Dale Carson told Action News Jax, Murphree has a leg to stand on in this case.

“There’s an actual Florida statute that says he can display this flag,” Carson is quoted as saying.

HOA attorney Michelle Haines sees it differently. She's been quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying Murphree has about 30 days to pay up or the association can move ahead with legal proceedings to foreclose.

What are your thoughts on this? Should Murphree be able to display his flag? Tell us by commenting below!

Heidi Thompson June 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Again, it's H.R. 42 (109th) Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 which was signed into law July 24, 2006. The bill became Pub.L. 109-243.
csb June 30, 2014 at 08:59 PM
get real, this is the usa, home of the free and the brave, and those that fought to keep it that way. God bless all vets. see florida statute, title XL, on real and personal property chapter 720, especially 720.304
Walt Craig July 04, 2014 at 12:10 PM
enough of this political correctness BULLSHIT.....Veterans should declare war on the Home Owners Assoc.....maybe a couple American Flags shoved up their arse's would convince them a better display would be the flower pot!
Felix C. July 07, 2014 at 02:43 PM
HOA's take themselves way too seriously.
Emmett White July 10, 2014 at 02:34 PM
This is America, the home of the brave and the land of the free. If he can't fly his American flag here, he might as well move to the Ukraine, or Moscow or Hanoi. The can fly their country's flags. This nonsense has got to stop. Perhaps what it will take is a strike by all veterans, spouses and children to rectify this problem. Word needs to get out to any veteran wanting to move to FL for retirement so that they won't waste a single penny by moving to this Sweetwater community. We live an a 55+ community in Zephyrhills, FL and can fly all the flags we want to fly. If fact, we have a Veteran's Memorial Wall in the community to celebrate our veterans. I am an Army, Vietnam veteran and am proud to live here.

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