Posted: July 3, 2002
Man Free To Fly Flag
Removes Restrictions On Flags
of News 4 JAX.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- He's paid a high
price for his patriotism, but a Jupiter man won his three-year battle Tuesday
to fly the American flag.
After thousands of dollars in fines,
dozens of public protests and a lien on his home George Andres walked out
of court a winner Tuesday.
front yard. The Indian Creek Homeowners' Association
guidelines state the flag may only be flown from brackets attached to a
A judge ruled that Anders could continue
to fly his American flag, despite the fact that the way he flies it is
against his neighborhood association's regulations.
Andres, a former Marine, has been fighting
his homeowners' association for almost three years to keep his flag flying
on top of a 12-foot pole in his
"Guys overseas right now -- what are they
putting their lives on the line for? That flag," Andres said. "Millions
of people have put their lives on the line to protect the flag. For me,
I feel the same way. I would go again tomorrow if I had to."
In a surprising ruling Tuesday, circuit
judge Ronald Alvarez removed all homeowners' association's restrictions
against flying the American flag.
"It's a great thing to happen right before
the Fourth of July, because now, George is independent from any type of
restriction on his right to fly the flag," attorney Barry Silver said.
The homeowners' association fined Andres
$100 a day for flying the flag, but during that time, he garnered support
from people all over the country.
Last July, veterans raised their voices
in salute of Old Glory to show their support.
A local radio station also raised money
to help Andres keep the flag flying. And Gov. Jeb Bush signed a law in
April that makes it illegal to ban anyone from flying the American flag,
unless it poses a safety hazard.
Bush visited Andres last month on Flag
Day to show his support.
In nearly three years Andres has racked
up fines close to $70,000. He has paid out almost $40,000 in attorney's
fees. A lien recently was placed on his house.
"The last two months have been very rough
on us, trying to figure out how we're going to pay bills. We live on social
security and our pension. I had to go out and get a temporary job to help
bring in some funds, so I can pay my bills," Andres said.
A hearing will be scheduled to determine
whether Andres will have to pay the fees that are still outstanding.