File photo of American flags. (credit: Melanie Conner/Getty Images)
Related Tags: American flag, HOA, Larry Murphree
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A veteran could lose his home because of a small American flag he has placed in a flower pot in front of his home.
Larry Murphree explained that his homeowners’ association in the Sweetwater community wants him to remove the flag because it violates home display rules. Furthermore, he is facing $8,000 in fines if he doesn’t take it out of his flower pot.
“I want it to go away. It’s such a minor little thing and they keep coming after me,” Murphree told WAWS. “They just sent me a letter that says I owe them around $8,000 and they put a foreclosure lien on my house.”
Murphree has 30 days to pay the fines and remove the flag or the homeowners’ association will move forward with the foreclosure.
The veteran had a similar fight with the homeowners’ association last year and he filed a lawsuit which was settled out of court. Now the homeowners’ association flag display rules have been rewritten since then.
Florida statute 720.304 section 2a states that “Any homeowner may display one portable, removable United States flag…in a respectful manner…not larger than 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet…regardless of any covenants, restrictions, bylaws, rules, or requirements of the [homeowners’] association.”
Murphree said he won’t stop until he can fly his flag freely at his home.
“When I first moved here, I loved it. it was wonderful. But it got where I’m being nitpicked more and more. I’ve lost a lot of friends and neighbors moving out. I don’t want to move,” he told WAWS.