man's' Bushnell son watches court
of the Daily Commercial
By BILL KOCH
Daily Commercial Staff Writer
George Andres Jr., a mechanic for the
Sumter County School District, is waiting today to hear what a West Palm
County circuit court judge has to say about his father.
George Andres Sr. was sued by his homeowners
association over a 12-foot flagpole and American flag he erected in his
yard. “My dad is a Marine because there is no such thing as an ex-Marine,”
Andres Jr. said. “When he puts his mind to something, watch out.”
Andres Jr. used to live four units from
his parents in the deed-restricted community of Indian Creek in Jupiter.
Gov. Jeb Bush called Andres Sr. earlier
this year and later sent him a letter supporting the An-dres’ 18-month
battle with the Indian Creek Homeowners Association over the flag and pole.
“Members of the Legislature and I were
shocked at the difficulties you confronted merely be-cause you wished to
fly a small United States flag in front of your home,” Bush wrote. “In
response, we crafted Senate Bill 148 to remedy these difficulties faced
by you and other homeowners.”
Bush was responding to a letter Andres
Sr. sent him last month. The association had ordered Andres Sr. in October
2000 to take the flag down.
Andres Sr. refused, saying a previous board
had given him permission for the pole. He was taken to court. Judges rules
against Andres in two court decisions, and last month the as-sociation
filed a foreclosure lien on his home. Court-ordered fines and penalties
have risen to about $30,000, Andres, Sr. said.
The legal battle has prompted the governor
and Legislature to collaborate earlier this year on the bill that prohibits
associations from interfering with the rights of property owners to fly
American flags from portable poles “in a respectful manner.”
“Basically my father didn’t get permission,”
Andres Jr. said. “From my point of view, it started out as a personal vendetta.”
Bush said in the letter to Andres Sr. that
the new law would cover grievances before the law’s passage.
“The intent behind this law was specifically
to remedy situations such as yours. The bill is retroactive in effect to
provide as much assistance for you and other homeowners facing similar
difficulties as possible,” Bush stated. West Palm Beach County Judge David
Crow accepted an injunction by Andres’ attorneys Tuesday.
“The judge said keep the flag flying because
this is good state law,” said Ann Andres, wife of Andres Sr.
Crow, however, couldn’t rule on the flagpole,
she said. West Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward Fine is expected
today to make a final ruling on the case.
Andres Jr. plans to make the 200-mile trip
to his parents home Thursday in time to be with his family to celebrate
Flag Day, Saturday, June 15.