FLYING "OLD GLORY" ?
rally in support of man's battle to fly flag
By Sanjay Bhatt
JUPITER -- These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
If American revolutionary Thomas Paine's words resonate now, some would call George Andres this city's standardbearer, judging by the 60 war veterans and friends who rallied to his cause on Sunday, Veterans Day.
Andres, 64, is defying the Indian Creek Homeowners Association Phase 3B Inc. and a circuit court order to take down his 12-foot flagpole flying Old Glory on his property. The ex-Marine faces more than $5,000 in fines, $22,000 in legal fees and foreclosure proceedings on his brick home on Doe Trail for his defiance. Andres' attorney, Barry Silver, said his client's passion echoes earlier firebrands, like Paine, Davy Crockett and Gandhi.
"The fight he's engaged in is similar," Silver said. "It's a fight for freedom. There's tyranny. It's on a small scale. There's tyranny because the board doesn't listen to the people."
The association's board, which is elected annually by about 100 residents, says its rules prohibit Andres from using a flagpole and that Andres could fly a flag from a bracket attached to his home, like his neighbors do. The association's lawyer could not be reached for comment Sunday.
The Jupiter man's defiance has sparked calls at the local, state and national levels for laws permitting flag-flying regardless of homeowners association rules. Andres will face the homeowners association again in Judge Catherine Brunson's court on Nov. 26. Brunson is fining Andres $100 a day for disobeying her order.
"My flag will remain up, and that's it," Andres said, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Sunday's Veterans Day ceremony in front of Andres' home drew about 25 veterans from Broward County. A color guard stood in front of his home as the crowd recited the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Silver's rendition of God Bless America. He and his father, Rabbi Sam Silver, each read poems they wrote, one serious, the other sarcastic.
"It's a Banned Old Flag, it's a contraband flag at the Indian Creek Association," Silver crooned. "Don't even try to let it fly or they will commence litigation."
One of Andres' friends, Mary Bernacki, 65, spoke out against the homeowners association, and its chairwoman in particular.
"I'm terribly, terribly ashamed of the behavior of the people around here against George's pole," Bernacki said. "She has favorites. . . . I just can't say anymore because it would be too nasty."
Andres said he has sought to call a special meeting, and has submitted the necessary number of signatures, but the association's board hasn't responded to his request. He gathered 41 signatures on Sunday to support his cause. For his efforts, the James Frederick Association has bestowed on Andres its Citizen/Patriot Award.
Vets to help ‘flag man’ celebrate Veterans Day
By Randall Murray
Courtesy of the Jupiter Courier
Jupiter’s "flag man" George Andres has a Veteran’s Day celebration planned for his Indian Creek community, thanks to South Florida veterans who plan to stage a full-dress ceremony in front of his home Nov. 11.
Andres, the former Marine being sued by his homeowners association for erecting an illegal flagpole, was thrilled at the news that the Broward County Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart wants to conduct a Veteran’s Day ceremony complete with the firing of 21 rifles at the foot of his notorious flagpole, now the topic of international discussion.
"I love it," Andres said of the offer by Carlos Fernandez of Fort Lauderdale, head of the Broward County veterans group.
The Order of the Purple Heart is an organization for members of the U.S. military who have been wounded in action. The Purple Heart medal is awarded to those veterans. There are 2,600 members in Florida.
Fernandez learned of Andres’ 18-month-long battle with the Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowners Association through a Jupiter Courier news story last week stating that the association would begin foreclosure proceedings next month against Andres’ home at 125 Doe Trail.
"We could not let a veteran possibly lose his home without offering to help," Fernandez said. Fernandez said the program would include as many as 100 veterans. He said he plans to invite Gov. Jeb Bush, along with state legislators.
Fernandez also spoke Tuesday with Jupiter Police Chief Richard Westgate about staging a 21-gun rifle salute to fallen veterans. Westgate said he asked Fernandez to submit documentation about the event to allow the Town of Jupiter to study what is proposed before allowing the gun ceremony.
"Since Sept. 11 we have to be very careful," said Westgate. "People could be very concerned hearing 21 gunshots reverberating in a residential area."
At the center of the flap is a 12-foot-high flagpole Andres erected in 1999 outside his home. He claims the then-board of directors of the homeowners association gave him permission to do so. A subsequent board determined the pole violated association by-laws and ordered it removed. Although Andres did occasionally dismantle the pole, it largely was left in place. The association sued.
Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson twice has found in favor of the association and ordered Andres to pay the group’s legal costs, now amounting to nearly $28,000. In addition, Andres and his wife Ann face a daily fine of $100 for every day the flag is flown in defiance of the court order.
Attorney Steven Selz, representing the association, said last week that foreclosure would begin "within the next couple of weeks."
The next step in the court fight will take place at a second evidentiary hearing before Brunson on Nov. 2.
Local news stories about the court fight over the flagpole are featured on Internet Web sites. Andres said he has received hundreds of e-mails in support of his flag.
"I’ve been doing radio shows in California, Detroit, St. Louis, Syracuse, Des Moines. Tomorrow (today) I’m going to be on Alabama and Tampa."
But the flag battle has taken a toll on the 61-year-old Korean war veteran.
"I’m getting stomach aches and I’m now taking blood pressure medicine. Sometimes my wife and I just have to get in the car and go somewhere, just to get out of here."
Andres, working with First Union Bank,
has set up the George Andres Flag Fund. Donations can be sent to the fund
at 125 Doe Trail, Jupiter, FL 33458. Andres said that if his case is dismissed,
or if he is not forced to pay fines and penalties, all money donated to
the fund will be given to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army for
Net results :
This week, The Jupiter Courier received
more than 100 e-mails, all in support of George Andres:
"I swear to God if my Marine Corps brother in arms has to pay one cent ... you will see unrest from veterans the likes of which may frighten civilians."
"To that association I say this, ‘You are providing comfort to the enemy’."
"Tell that ... association to go live in Afghanistan, where there are no flags flying and no sense of patriotism."
"Let’s see if we can find enough people to donate a little money to help him out. I’ll bet we can!"
"This homeowners association appears to have way too much time on its hands ..."
Homeowners group plans foreclosure action for policy violation
In an effort to defend his right to fly an American flag in front of his Jupiter home, former Marine George Andres might lose that home.
The Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowners Association has placed a lien against Andres' house at 125 Doe Trail. The attorney representing the association revealed Thursday that foreclosure proceedings "will begin within the next couple of weeks."
Andres said he has not been notified by the association or by the court of pending foreclosure procedures. "I have not received one letter or message," he said.
As part of the foreclosure process, attorney Steven Selz said, Andres and his wife, Ann, will be interviewed to determine what financial resources they have to pay the association more than $21,000 in costs, as ordered by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Catherine M. Brunson. In addition, daily fines calculated to mid-June add $7,400 to the Andres' financial woes.
In a brief hearing Thursday before Brunson, Andres' attorney Barry Silver asked the judge to review her original finding in favor of the association. Silver said the association had committed "fraud upon the court."
Silver told the judge that to uphold the ruling ordering Andres to lower the flag and dismantle the pole would be a "manifest injustice." The association contends that Andres, 61, has violated the association by-laws, which prohibit flags from being flown on flag poles. Instead, flags only can be flown from brackets attached to the side of the houses there.
Silver said the charge brought by the association was fraudulent because it first made one argument - that it objected to the pole but not the flag - then another - that it objected to both.
Silver said the association's dogged pursuit of Andres and the flagpole he erected in defiance of association rules, "runs against public policy." He cited Florida law banning restrictions on flag displays and proclamations by Gov. Jeb Bush and President Bush, urging associations to do away with regulations governing displays of Old Glory.
Brunson, however, was not convinced. Stating she saw no evidence produced by Silver to support his fraud claim, she dismissed his motion.
"I guess the judge felt that when Gov. Bush and President Bush urged people to fly the flag, they didn't mean my flag," Andres said.
Brunson told Silver if he would like to submit more evidence, he could request an evidentiary hearing. A tentative date of Nov. 2 has been set for that hearing.
After Thursday's hearing, Selz stated, "There is a point at which you say 'It's over.' Unfortunately, the Andreses have not accepted the finality of decisions that have been made."
Selz accused Silver of creating "frivolous issues" simply to delay the inevitable.
Silver could not be reached for comment.
Andres said he was given verbal permission by a previous association board to put up the 12-foot pole. Citing association by-laws, the present board told him to take it down. Andres refused, and the association eventually sued.
Brunson in June upheld the association's claim and imposed a $100-a-day fine on Andres. In addition, he was ordered to pay nearly $21,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by the association.
But Andres has not budged. His flag still flies.I
flag flyer files lawsuit
By Kit Bradshaw
In a time when the American flag is flying higher in this country than ever before, the stars and stripes still are ruffling feathers in Jupiter.
Former marine George Andres, sued by his homeowners association in May for flying his flag on a 12-foot flag pole against association by-laws, has countersued the association. He claims it has violated his rights as a homeowner, citing a clause in the very same by-laws that forbids "public embarrassment."
"No illegal, noxious or offensive activity shall be permitted or carried on upon any part of the Subdivision, nor shall anything be permitted or done thereon which is or may become a nuisance or source of embarrassment, discomfort of annoyance to the neighborhood," states the by-laws of the Indian Creek Phase III-2 homeowners association.
And Andres, 61, of 125 Doe Trail, has been joined by 10 of his neighbors in the suit. A hearing on Andres’ case is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday in front of Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Peter D. Blanc.
"George and Ann Andres and about 10 other people are suing because the by-laws state that no one can bring embarrassment to the community, and if they do, they can be sued," said Andres’ attorney Barry Silver of Boca Raton. "These people say that by bringing a lawsuit against Mr. and Mrs. Andres, it has caused embarrassment to their community."
Christine Royce, president of the Indian Creek Phase III-2 association, did not return several calls to her home last week. She canceled the association’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Palm Beach attorney Steven Selz, who represents the Phase III Indian Creek Homeowners Association, said last week that the main issue remains the flag pole.
"Mr and Mrs. Andres have already had two rounds in court and have lost both of them," Selz said. "I would understand and agree that the association can’t prevent them from displaying the American flag, but that’s not the issue. They installed the pole and light on the pole without permission and no one else in the community has a flag pole of this type.
"If the association didn’t enforce the rules, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else in the community and this is what it is all about fairness to all who bought (in Indian Creek), expecting the rules to be enforced," Selz added.
The association won its original suit against Andres in August, in which it stated he was in violation of association rules that forbid using a flag pole to fly a flag. Only brackets on the outside of houses are permissible.
Andres lost his appeal of that ruling in October and he was ordered by Judge Catherine M. Brunson to pay $20,723.85 in attorney’s fees and $100 a day in fines for each day his flag was flown in violation of her order.
However, since the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. on Sept. 11, Andres has continued to fly his flag high on his pole and, he said, no one in his neighborhood has said a word about it.
"I still have my flag flying and it’s going to stay flying," he said.
And Andres said he has Gov. Jeb Bush on his side this time.
In a public statement after the attacks, Bush said: "I have received e-mail from constituents alerting me that they cannot comply with this call to exhibit our patriotism because of restrictions and limits on the public display of the American flag imposed by some homeowners associations or other community agreements. While I firmly support in general the right of communities to set their own policies for those who choose to live in them, I nevertheless believe an exception applies to the flying of our flag. No one should be able to sign away their rights to fly and display Old Glory."
Silver said in light of Gov. Bush’s recent comments, he plans to ask Judge Blanc on Tuesday to throw out the original lawsuit and wave the fees and fines.
"I have correspondence from them, which we will present in court on Tuesday, in which they say that they (the homeowners association) have a problem with his flag pole and his flag. They are going after his right to fly a flag," Silver says. "They want to take his home away and charge him so much money that he would have to become homeless to pay the legal fees."
So far, Andres has not paid the fine or the attorney fees but for the past three weeks, he has been on the steps of the Palm Beach County Courthouse distributing flyers entitled "My Right to Defend the American Flag" about 100 each day, he said.
"As a citizen of this great country, I am here today to demonstrate that I have the right to fly one American flag on my property and I should not have been in court for the past two years fighting for this right," Andres states in the flyer. "It is a disgrace and an injustice to any American."
flag flier, neighbors allege ‘embarrassment’ in countersuit
By Kit Bradshaw
JUPITER - At a time when it seems the American flag is being flown more than ever, a debate over Old Glory is ruffling some feathers.
Former Marine George Andres, sued in May by his homeowners association for flying the flag on a 12-foot pole that violates association bylaws has countersued the association.
His lawsuit states the group violated his rights as a homeowner, citing a clause in the bylaws that forbids "public embarrassment."
"No illegal, noxious or offensive activity shall be permitted or carried on upon any part of the Subdivision, nor shall anything be permitted or done thereon which is or may become a nuisance or source of embarrassment, discomfort of annoyance to the neighborhood," state bylaws of the Indian Creek Phase III-2 homeowners association.
Andres, 61, of 125 Doe Trail, has been joined in the lawsuit by 10 of his neighbors. A hearing on Andres’ case is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday before Circuit Court Judge Peter D. Blanc in Palm Beach County.
"George and Ann Andres and about 10 other people are suing because the bylaws state that no one can bring embarrassment to the community, and if they do, they can be sued," said Andres’ attorney, Barry Silver of Boca Raton. "These people say that by bringing a lawsuit against Mr. and Mrs. Andres, it has caused embarrassment to their community."
Christine Royce, president of the Indian Creek Phase III-2 association, did not return calls to her home last week. She canceled the association’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Palm Beach attorney Steven Selz, who represents the Indian Creek Homeowners Association, said the main issue is the flagpole.
"I would understand and agree that the association can’t prevent them from displaying the American flag, but that’s not the issue," Selz said. "They installed the pole and light on the pole without permission, and no one else in the community has a flagpole of this type.
"If the association didn’t enforce the rules, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else in the community."
The association won its original lawsuit against Andres in August, in which it stated he was in violation of association rules that forbid using a flagpole to fly a flag. Only brackets on the homes are allowed.
Andres lost his appeal of that ruling in October, and he was ordered by Judge Catherine M. Brunson to pay $20,723.85 in attorneys’ fees and $100 a day in fines for each day his flag was flown in violation of her order.
However, since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept. 11, Andres has flown his flag - on his pole - and, he said, no one in his neighborhood said a word about it.
This time, he has Gov. Jeb Bush on his side, Andres said.
In a public statement after the attacks, Bush said: "I have received e-mail from constituents alerting me that they cannot comply with this call to exhibit our patriotism because of restrictions and limits on the public display of the American flag imposed by some homeowners associations or other community agreements. ... No one should be able to sign away their rights to fly and display Old Glory."
Silver said in light of Bush’s recent comments, he plans to ask Blanc on Tuesday to throw out the original lawsuit and waive the fees and fines.
So far, Andres has not paid the fine or the attorneys’ fees. But for the past three weeks, he has been on the steps of the Palm Beach County Courthouse distributing fliers entitled "My Right to Defend the American Flag" - about 100 each day, he said.
"As a citizen of this great country, I am here today to demonstrate that I have the right to fly one American flag on my property, and I should not have been in court for the past two years fighting for this right," Andres stated in the flier.
mood may help defiant flier of flag
By Jim Ash, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
His cause lifted by a tidal wave of patriotism, George Andres' time may have come.
The Jupiter man and his legal battle to keep a 12-foot flagpole have taken on a new significance as Americans mourn the heavy casualties from Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
Gov. Jeb Bush is busy drafting legislation. Andres pleaded his case to Chicago talk radio listeners on Monday, his flag fluttering defiantly above his townhouse despite a court order and fines piling up at $100 a day.
His homeowners association sued Andres last fall, saying he should fly his flag by the rules, from a bracket mounted to the side of his house. A circuit judge and appellate court agreed with the association.
Some might have written him off as an eccentric ex-Marine before Tuesday. Now he's being hailed as a trailblazer.
"What can I say? He's ahead of his time," said Andres' lawyer, Barry Silver of Boca Raton.
"I think it's safe to say that this veteran's problems have been an inspiration to the governor to seek out a clearer law," said Bush spokeswoman Liz Hirst.
Florida law protects flag flying but leaves some leeway for local restrictions. Bush wants to come up with a more uniform standard that could prevent court fights, a notion he took up before the tragedy, Hirst said.
Even if Bush gets his flag legislation passed, it could be too late to help Andres.
The legislature doesn't convene until January. Andres' next court hearing is Sept. 25.
That's when the homeowners association will ask Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Peter Blanc to dismiss Andres' recent suit accusing it of violating his civil rights. The association may face a tough time in the court of public opinion, but it has a perfect record in the courtroom.
Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson ordered Andres to take the flag down and fined him after the association filed suit last fall. The 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The association recently filed a $20,000 lien against Andres' home and is threatening to evict.
The retired electrician and former volunteer firefighter said he faces fines and legal bills totaling more than $28,000 and has had to borrow against his pension. The association is preparing to ask Brunson to find him in contempt again.
"They have continually thumbed their nose at the court," said association attorney Steven Selz of Palm Beach.
Selz said he would welcome a new law but doesn't know whether it would apply to his clients. They don't ban flag flying, just unapproved additions or improvements to homes.
The tide of public opinion will be hard to fight, Selz acknowledges.
"If we let them do this, then we have to let everyone do it," Selz said. "What if someone decides they want to put up a giant neon Mexican hat to celebrate their unique heritage?"
Andres knew about the restrictions when he bought his home, Selz said.
"A true patriot not only recognizes our freedoms, but also that we are a nation of laws," Selz said.
"That's a red, white and blue herring," Silver said. "He's standing up for what he believes."
flier files suit against HOA
Courtesy of The Jupiter Courier
By Roger Buckwalter
George Andres, the Jupiter resident who was brought to court by his homeowners association because he uses a banned flagpole, has taken the offensive and counter-sued the association.
The suit, filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court on July 20, claims the Indian Creek Phase 3-B Homeowners Association violated Andres’ "freedom of speech and other civil rights" covered by the Florida Constitution.
"We tried to tell that to the judge and the judge didn’t want to listen to that before," Andres said Friday.
Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson has fined Andres $7,400 $100 a day for each day he used the 12-foot portable flagpole to fly the U.S. flag on his front lawn since her Oct. 27 ruling that he couldn’t do that.
The association maintains Andres didn’t get permission for the flagpole from its Architectural Control Committee.
The association’s president and attorney did not return phone calls on Friday seeking comment on the Andres suit.
On July 20, however, association president Christine Royce said Indian Creek lawns are too small for flagpoles and that if one person is allowed a lawn ornament, all residents would have to be given permission.
"It would be a landscaping nightmare," she said.
She added that Andres may fly his flag at any time, but the association says flags must be flown from brackets attached to the house.
The latest suit was filed by Barry Silver, a Boca Raton attorney and former state representative, in the name of Andres, his wife, Ann, and 15 neighbors.
It states that Andres, 64, a Marine veteran "who risked his life overseas ... and who greatly loves his country ... enjoys flying the United States flag as an expression of his patriotism and his allegiance to what it represents."
The homeowners association, the complaint alleges, "gave no reason or explanation for its alleged refusal to approve the flag and flag pole," saying only that the pole "was not identical to that of his neighbors."
"Such a rigid insistence on conformity is a prominent feature of a totalitarian regime, but is antithetical to the U.S. and Florida Constitution," the suit claims.
The suit further claims the association violated a state law that says homeowners associations "may not preclude the display of one United States flag by property owners."
Also, the suit alleges that Indian Creek residents "are embarrassed by the negative publicity that has been visited upon their community."
The suit seeks a judgment prohibiting the association from interfering with Andres’ flagpole, and voiding all prior judgments against him as well as awarding Andres attorneys fees and other damages.
On July 20, Andres was in court for a hearing on how much he should pay for the association’s attorney’s fees. The association’s attorney, Steve Selz, asked Brunson to award $21,826.35, but an order on that had not yet been entered by the judge as of Friday.
Andres said he will appeal the fine which he called "cruel and unusual punishment." He said he continues to receive donations to pay that fine and other fees, but wouldn’t say how much he has received.
He did say that if he wins the case filed by Silver who, he said, was handling the case without charge he would give the donated money to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
And, Andres said, he had his flagpole and flag up Friday, because it was Vietnam Veterans Day.
flier fined $7,400, but faces far higher fees
By Roger Buckwalter News staff writer
For George Andres, patriotism has a high price.
The former Marine from Jupiter, who has continued to fly his U.S. flag on a flagpole in violation of a court order, has been fined $7,400.
In addition, his homeowners association on Friday asked Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson to slap Andres with $21,826.35 in attorney's fees. Brunson said she would rule on that request next week.
"We're going to appeal everything," said Andres, 64.
The Indian Creek Phase 3-2 Homeowners' Association took Andres to court in October because, its members contend, he erected the 12-foot portable flagpole at 125 Doe Trail without permission from the organization's Architectural Control Committee.
Christine Royce, president of the association, said the association has nothing against the flag, but the covenants and bylaws of the development state that flags can only be flown from brackets attached to the house.
Royce said Friday she is researching whether Andres' flagpole and flag could be relocated to the entrance of the development, at Central Boulevard and Indian Creek East.
She's also contacted the Town of Jupiter about putting the pole and flag at the Imagination Station Park, across the street from the development.
"My flagpole wouldn't be suited for there," Andres said of the idea. "I only have a 12-foot pole."
He still contends that state law prohibits the homeowners association from banning him from flying his flag on a flagpole.
The flagpole, Royce said, represents a "landscaping nightmare." The lawns in the townhouse community are small, and if one person in the 96-home association puts out a "lawn ornament," then all must be permitted to do so.
"We love our country," she said. "There's no reason why he can't fly his flag. He's allowed to fly his flag 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
About 25 Andres supporters, including nine members of the U.S. Military Vets motorcycle club, attended Friday's hearing. The motorcyclists, wearing black and carrying small American flags, greeted Andres with handshakes when he entered the courtroom.
Brunson ruled June 27 that Andres would be responsible for attorney's fees in addition to the fine.
During the hourlong hearing, attorney Patricia Hartley, who represents 85 condominium and homeowners associations, testified as an expert witness regarding the requested attorneys' fees.
Hartley reviewed bills for 127.8 hours of work from Indian Creek attorney Steven Selz, and "the hours expended are valid and reasonable hours," she said. She recommended a total fee of $19,500.
In his closing argument, however, Selz told Brunson that his personal costs and witness fees bring the total to $21,826.35.
"That's what we're requesting (that) the court award," he said.
Andres' attorney, Brook Fisher, said $3,285 of those fees, charged for appellate work on the case, should not be awarded.
"The Andreses are considering their legal options," including a rehearing or an appeal, Fisher said.
Appeals would be taken to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, he said.
100 attend parade and rally
July 15, 2001
By Roger Buckwalter
Cheering and waving American flags, about 100 people Friday rallied around the flagpole, so to speak.
The parade and rally at Imagination Station Park in Jupiter also raised about $120 toward fines faced by Jupiter resident George Andres. Andres, 64, has been flying an American flag on a portable 12-foot flagpole in his front yard in violation of a judge’s order to take down the pole.
The pole, the judge said, does indeed violate the covenants of Andres’ Indian Creek homeowner’s association, which says a flag must be flown from brackets mounted on a house, not flown from a pole.
"This little wave that we created will ripple all the way up to the front steps of the White House," said Buzz 103.1 disc jockey Mark Summers, who organized the rally. "We should be here paying tribute and giving thanks to guys like George."
Armed with a new attorney, former Rep. Barry Silver of Boca Raton, Andres will face Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge Catherine Brunson Friday as she determines his fine. On June 27, she said Andres will be fined $100 a day for each day he has flown the flag since she ruled Oct. 27 that he must take down the pole.
The number of days, however, is in dispute and is expected to be decided Friday. So far, Andres, a former marine, said contributions to the cause have totaled more than $900, including Friday’s donations.
Andres, who called the rally in his defense "unbelievable," will be accompanied in court by former state Rep. Barry Silver of Boca Raton.
Silver, who attended the rally, acknowledged that Andres is violating Brunson’s court order when he uses the flagpole, but he questioned whether that order is valid or is in violation of a state law saying the flag can be flown.
"It appears that the order is violating Florida law and the First Amendment to the Constitution," Silver said.
Silver said Andres has "shown a lot of courage" by continuing to fly the flag on special occasions despite the judge’s ruling.
To the cheering crowd, Silver said: "Indian Creek is going to be up the creek if they do not realize where they’ve gone wrong."
Andres called for the federal government to pass a law giving people the right to fly their flags, anytime, anyplace.
He also said he is looking forward to his court hearing.
"It should be fun. I’ve heard a lot of people are going to come to the courthouse," he said.
Last weekend, about 100 war veterans on motorcycles visited Andres to show their support and the group promised to attend the court hearing Friday.
Those who attended Friday’s march, along Indian Creek East and Bent Arrow Drive to Andres’ home at 125 Doe Trail, recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Brian Brightbill of Jupiter said "he’d got every right in the world" to use the pole.
And from Peggy Verhoeven of Tequesta: "As
long as the flag is raised properly, there should be no judge in the land
and no association in the land that says you can’t."
Citizens hold rally for man in the middle of flag pole dispute
July 14, 2001
By Roger Buckwalter
JUPITER - Cheering and waving American flags, about 100 people rallied ’round the flagpole Friday.
A parade and rally at Imagination Station Park in Jupiter also raised about $120 toward fines faced by Jupiter resident George Andres. Andres, 64, has been flying an American flag on a portable 12-foot flagpole in his front yard in violation of a judge’s order to take down the pole.
The pole, the judge said, violates the covenants of Andres’ Indian Creek homeowners’ association, which says flags must be flown from a bracket mounted on the house, not from a pole.
"This little wave that we created will ripple all the way up to the front steps of the White House," said WPBZ disc jockey Mark Summers, who organized the rally. "We should be here paying tribute and giving thanks to guys like George."
With a new attorney, Rep. Barry Silver of Boca Raton, Andres will face Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson as she determines his fine. On June 27, she said Andres will be fined $100 a day for each day he has flown the flag since she ruled Oct. 27 that the pole must come down.
The number of days, however, is in dispute and is expected to be decided Friday. So far, contributions to the cause have totaled more than $900, said Andres, a former marine.
Silver, who attended the rally, acknowledged that Andres is violating Brunson’s court order when he uses the flagpole, but he questioned whether the order violates a state law saying the flag can be flown.
"It appears that the order is violating Florida law and the First Amendment to the Constitution," Silver said.
Silver said Andres has "shown a lot of courage" by continuing to fly the flag on special occasions, despite the judge’s ruling.
To the cheering crowd, Silver said: "Indian Creek is going to be up the creek if they do not realize where they’ve gone wrong."
Andres called on the federal government to pass a law giving people the right to fly their flags any time, any place.
He also said he is looking forward to his court hearing.
"It should be fun. I’ve heard a lot of people are going to come to the courthouse," he said.
Last weekend, about 100 war veterans on motorcycles visited Andres to show their support, and the group promised to attend the court hearing Friday.
Those who attended Friday’s march, along Indian Creek East and Bent Arrow Drive, to Andres’ home at 125 Doe Trail, recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
"As long as the flag is raised properly, there should be no judge in the land and no association in the land that says you can’t," said Peggy Verhoeven of Tequesta.
the flag...not the issue?
Willow B-free Vance
Maryland grandfather first taught me the flag was our most precious symbol
when I was a small child, just orphaned in 1935. The pole he
installed to fly his flag stood on the front five acres of his Burtonsville
farm, chosen with care from his own wooded forest, for it's excessive height
and nonbonding strength.
|Veterans stand united
By Roger Buckwalter senior writer
Courtesy MSNBC 7-11-2001
Jupiter, FL, July 11 - With a roar that could be heard for blocks away, more than 100 war veterans on motorcyles came thundering down Doe Trail in Jupiter last weekend to support a fellow veteran and his right to fly his American flag on a flagpole.
And Friday, some 500 patriotic souls are expected to converge once again on the lawn of George Andres’ Indian Creek townhouse in support of his stand against a court order demanding he take down the 12-foot portable pole.
The bikers were part of a group called U.S. Military Vets, with members from Fort Pierce to West Palm Beach.
"This is a slap in the face of every person who died for that flag," said biker Robert Woschnik.
Added biker Jeff Foss: "What they’re doing to this patriotic American citizen is an outrage."
The homeowners association took Andres to court because, according to the association’s Architectural Control Committee, flags only can be hung from brackets attached to the house, not flown from poles.
On June 27, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Brunson fined Andres $100 a day for each day he used the flagpole after her Oct. 27 order to stop erecting it.
A court hearing to determine the amount of the fines is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. July 20. The fines could amount to as much as $7,300.
"D.J.,’ who identified himself Sunday as the bikers’ leader, told Andres his group would be at the courthouse for support.
D.J. presented Andres, 64, with more than $100 toward his impending fine.
At 7:30 a.m. Friday, West Palm Beach radio station FM 103.1, the Buzz, will sponsor a rally for Andres at the Imagination Station playground at Central Boulevard and Indian Creek East, followed by a parade to Andres’ home, said "Dahmer," producer and co-host of The Morning Buzz program.
"Lots of people are calling in," he said Tuesday. "That’s all we’ve been talking about the last two days (on his show)."
Dahmer said he has invited U.S. Rep. Mark Foley to attend the rally, but as of Tuesday, he said he had not heard from the congressman.
And Sunday, the motorcycle club, which recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem, also was joined by three people from the Stuart-Port St. Lucie area in a car bedecked with four flags.
Said Joe Bruce of Port St. Lucie: "I believe that people should have the right to fly the American flag in their front yard in any way they see fit."
"I believe that’s the proper way that flag should be flown (on a pole)," said Brian Sample of Stuart. "I’m proud of George for standing up for it."
Even some of Andres neighbors jumped on the bandwagon.
"I love that flag," said neighbor Barbara Papakalodoukas. She recalled that her late husband’s proudest day was when he became a naturalized U.S. citizen. "We all take these things for granted," she said.
Andres, who served in the marines from 1955 until 1961, said he’s willing to go to jail for the right to use his flagpole.
"After all these years, it might be a rest," he said.
July 4, 2001Veteran defies court order
By Steve Miller
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
George Andres of Jupiter, Fla., figures the price tag for flying his American flag in defiance of a court order for the past nine months is about $52,000.
Flying Old Glory from a pole he erected in front of his town house earned him disfavor from the neighborhood homeowners association, which took him to a judge who agreed that the pole violated the association's bylaws.
Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson ordered Mr. Andres to bring the pole down, calling it "an unauthorized improvement to the property."
"I wasn't going to just stop flying it, but I cut back to just federal holidays" said Mr. Andres, 64, a Korean War veteran and retired electrician from New York. "I mean -- what -- people can burn the flag, but they aren't allowed to fly it?"
Last week, Mr. Andres was hauled into court again for his defiance, with the former fire department chief facing 90 days in the local slammer. Instead, he was told to pay $100 for each day the pole was planted outside his home since the order in October to remove it.
Two members of the homeowners association said that was 73 days, and they had the pictures to prove it.
The crux of the judge's ruling was the pole Mr. Andres has planted, said Steven Selz, the West Palm Beach lawyer who represents the homeowner's association.
"It was never said that he could not fly the flag," Mr. Selz said. He contends that the association simply did not like the sight of the 15-foot flag pole in the middle of the otherwise demure settlement.
"He can fly that flag anytime," the lawyer said. "There are 17 others in the subdivision that do so, from a bracket on the side of their homes. I respect the fact that he's a very patriotic guy. But it's sad that it has come to this."
Countered Mr. Andres: "How can you fly a flag without a pole?"
The former Marine has made appearances on several talk shows, from IIlinois to Texas, and his feud has also drawn him support from Florida's 1.77 million veterans.
Mr. Andres has always had a flag pole. He lived 18 patriotic years with the flag unfurling daily from a pole in front of his previous home in nearby Martin County. Before that, he lived in upstate New York, the Stars and Stripes waving from a pole.
He moved to Indian Shores, a subdivision of 96 homes that run between $90,000 and $100,000, in 1998, although he owned a home there before moving in. He said he knew the rules and did the proper thing to ensure his flag, and pole, were OK.
"I get here, and they approve my flag pole," he said in his thick Brooklyn accent. "Seven months later, the board changes, and they tell me it has to go."
Mr. Andres cites a state law, under the state's provisions on homeowner's associations, that he believes allows his patriotism to go unfettered. Even against the wishes of his neighbors.
"It's constitutional," Mr. Andres said. "The federal law allows me to fly the flag. I think the judge missed that."
The judge did not return calls.
The courtroom fight has rung up quite a bill. He figures $25,000 for his own attorney, which he has already paid; $25,000 for the homeowners association legal costs, which he was ordered to pay and at least $7,200 in fines.
He cannot afford to be such a rebel at this point, so the flag has sat, properly folded, inside his home since the fine was levied.
But, today, Independence Day, he will make an exception.
"I know it will cost me $100, but I'll fly it anyway," said Mr. Andres.
Added his wife, Ann: "How could they fine us for flying the flag on the Fourth of July?"
And there's more fight left in this aging veteran.
Next week, the supportive veterans are coming over to his neighborhood for a little rally.
"We expect 600 of them," Mr. Andres said. "On this little street. And we're going to raise the flag again."
|Posted at 3:02 p.m.
EDT Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Judge: Jupiter veteran must pay $7,300 for flag pole violation
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- (AP) -- A patriotic Jupiter resident said he was willing to go to jail for flying an American flag from a 12-foot pole in his front yard, a violation of his homeowners association and a court order.
But instead of jail time, a judge Wednesday ordered George Andres, a Korean War veteran, to pay $100 for each day the pole was planted outside his town house since she ordered him to take it down last October.
Andres could have faced up to 90 days in jail for contempt of court, according to his attorney, Brook Fisher.
The Indian Creek Phase 3B Homeowners Association permits flags flown only from wall brackets attached to the homes. It says 17 homeowners have chosen to raise American flags that way.
But Andres, a former Marine and retired electrician, says he has a constitutional right to fly the flag from the pole.
``If you can burn a flag, you have no problem,'' he said. ``So, if you can burn a flag, why can't you fly the flag?''
He also contends he would be desecrating the flag by flying it from the brackets because it would touch the bushes in his yard.
The association sued Andres over the flagpole, and a state court agreed with it last October.
Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson ruled that the association's restriction didn't infringe on Andres' rights. An appeals court earlier this month upheld Brunson's ruling.
But the two sides were back in Brunson's West Palm Beach courtroom this week, after the association said it had photos and a calendar to show that Andres had flown the flag 73 days since the Oct. 27 ruling, which would cost him $7,300.
Andres argued that he flew the flag only on federal holidays.
The association's attorney, Steven Selz, said the issue isn't about the flag, but the pole, which hurts the neighborhood's appearance.
``I know he's a patriotic guy,'' Selz said. ``But he has to follow the rules like everybody else.''
- NEWS STORY
Friday June 29 12:56 AM EDT
Neighborhood For Flag Display
The flap is not over the fact that the flag is flying, but over where it is flying.
This week a judge ruled that George Andres owes more than $7,000in fines because of his flag and now other veterans are jumping in to keep it flying.
Andres' neighborhood homeowners association levied the fine a year and a half ago because their bylaws state that flags may only be flown from brackets attached to homes, not to poles.
"The federal flag code tells you the flag shouldn't touch anything, it should be free flowing. (If) you put a flag here, it hits the bushes cause you can't get it high enough," Andres explained about his display of the flag.
This week, for the second time, a judge ruled that Andres had to pay or face jail time.
"You can burn an American flag and you're telling me I can't fly it, I mean that's ridiculous," Andres said. "Okay, come and arrest me, I think the flag is more important than the judge's orders."
Andres, a Korean War veteran said that his is ready to fight for Old Glory again. He said that he believes federal laws regarding the flag supercede any neighborhood rules and this is an extreme case of a homeowners association going too far.
"Many people in this world have died for this flag, veterans, my fellow marines died for it -- I feel the way I feel -- It should be there," Andres said.
As word of this soldiers fight has spread, he has been inundated with calls from people pledging help.
"I just got a call from a veteran, he's got two purple hearts and a silver star and he said he would come here and camp out in my lawn to keep that flag up," Andres said. "Last night a woman called me. Her husband died in Vietnam. She said 'Where do I send the check? I want you to keep that flag flying.' "
The homeowners association did not return Eyewitness News 25's phone calls. Andres has temporarily taken his flag down but will put it up on the Fourth of July. A week later a local radio station is planning a rally in the neighborhood to help his fight.