TALLAHASSEE - February 28, 2002
votes to protect flag-flying
Floridians' rights to fly the American
flag would be increased under two bills the state Senate voted unanimously
One measure would let any homeowner display
a portable American flag in a respectful manner - regardless of any restrictions
to the contrary in the rules of a homeowners' association.
The legislation (CS-SB 148) went to the
House, where a similar bill (HB 177) is awaiting a floor vote.
The bills are in reaction to the fight
between a Jupiter man and his homeowners' association that generated consternation
in the Capital after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A Palm Beach County judge sided with the
Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowners Association last June, ruling that
former Marine George Andres was violating its rule barring flagpoles. Under
the association's rules, flags can be flown only from brackets attached
to the side of a house.
The second bill (CS-SB 150) the Senate
passed Thursday would make it unlawful to stop anyone from flying a flag
unless the display threatened someone's health and safety.
Sen. Anna Cowin, the Leesburg Republican
who sponsored the legislation, said it would help people who wanted to
fly an American flag on a desk, a car or as a pin on their jacket lapel.