Edward F. Granahan

14742 Eagles Crossing Drive

Orlando, FL 32837


September 16,2005


Hunters Creek Community Association

14101 Town Loop Blvd

Orlando, FL 32837


This letter is in response to your letter of 13 September ordering me to remove my flagpole.  In the event you are unaware of Florida Statue 720, the following is the pertinent portion of the statute:

720.304 Right of owners to peaceably assemble; display of flag; SLAPP suits prohibited.--

(1)  All common areas and recreational facilities serving any homeowners' association shall be available to parcel owners in the homeowners' association served thereby and their invited guests for the use intended for such common areas and recreational facilities. The entity or entities responsible for the operation of the common areas and recreational facilities may adopt reasonable rules and regulations pertaining to the use of such common areas and recreational facilities. No entity or entities shall unreasonably restrict any parcel owner's right to peaceably assemble or right to invite public officers or candidates for public office to appear and speak in common areas and recreational facilities.

(2)  Any homeowner may display one portable, removable United States flag or official flag of the State of Florida in a respectful manner, and on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day may display in a respectful manner portable, removable official flags, not larger than 41/2 feet by 6 feet, which represent the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with flags or decorations.

(3)  Any owner prevented from exercising rights guaranteed by subsection (1) or subsection (2) may bring an action in the appropriate court of the county in which the alleged infringement occurred, and, upon favorable adjudication, the court shall enjoin the enforcement of any provision contained in any homeowners' association document or rule that operates to deprive the owner of such rights.

(4)  It is the intent of the Legislature to protect the right of parcel owners to exercise their rights to instruct their representatives and petition for redress of grievances before the various governmental entities of this state as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and s. 5, Art. I of the State Constitution. The Legislature recognizes that "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" or "SLAPP" suits, as they are typically called, have occurred when members are sued by individuals, business entities, or governmental entities arising out of a parcel owner's appearance and presentation before a governmental entity on matters related to the homeowners' association. However, it is the public policy of this state that government entities, business organizations, and individuals not engage in SLAPP suits because such actions are inconsistent with the right of parcel owners to participate in the state's institutions of government. Therefore, the Legislature finds and declares that prohibiting such lawsuits by governmental entities, business entities, and individuals against parcel owners who address matters concerning their homeowners' association will preserve this fundamental state policy, preserve the constitutional rights of parcel owners, and assure the continuation of representative government in this state. It is the intent of the Legislature that such lawsuits be expeditiously disposed of by the courts.

As such, my flag(s) and flagpole will remain and Old Glory will continue to fly appropriately and respectfully.  I have received several compliments on my flag display and have had people tell me they specifically enjoyed seeing the “Don’t Tread On Me” Flag that I occasionally fly.  I have had request to fly that particular flag more often.  I will continue to exercise my rights as a property owner, American citizen and disabled American Veteran.

Perhaps you may want to view the Concerned Citizens for Justice website ( for information on the law and flag flying.  They have accumulated a great deal of legal information on the topic.  If necessary, I will contact them for assistance, as well as the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Senators Nelson and Martinez and Congressman Keller for additional assistance.  Governor Bush and Attorney General Charlie Christ will also be contacted as well as local and national news organizations and talk shows, such as the Sean Hannity show.  I do not want to take these extreme steps, but I am willing to do so.  MY FLAG WILL CONTINUE TO FLY!


                                                                        Edward F. Granahan

                                                                        CTI1(NAC)   USN- Retired

Letter October 31, 2005

Edward F. Granahan

14742 Eagles Crossing Drive

Orlando, FL 32837


October 31, 2005 

Hunters Creek Community Association

Board of Directors

14101 Town Loop Blvd

Orlando, FL 32837

Based on advice from the Honorable Andy Gardiner, I am attempting to resolve the issue concerning the flagpole at my residence at 14742 Eagles Crossing Drive.  As I have stated in my previous letter, FS 720 allows me to fly the flag.  FS 720 was also modified by SB 148 and is quoted (in part) for your reference.  You may also be interested in a 2002 ruling on homeowners’ association’s restrictions on flying the flag.  A portion of the article is quoted as follows:  “...circuit judge Ronald Alvarez removed all homeowners’ association’s restrictions against fly the American Flag.”(1)

The following article on SB148 may also be of interest to you.

Governor Jeb Bush signed into law today a bill guaranteeing Floridians' right to fly the United States flag at their homes, regardless of rules set by a homeowners' association. Senate Bill 148, an act relating to the Display of the United States Flag, was filed to address arbitrary rules enacted by homeowner associations to prevent flying of the American flag. It also allows homeowners to file a suit if prevented from flying the flag in a reasonable, respectful manner. Senate Bill 148 was sponsored by Senator Steven Geller and Representative Eleanor Sobel and was co-sponsored by Senators Tom Lee, Daryl Jones, Ginny Brown-Waite, Al Lawson, Les Miller Jr., Ron Klein, Ron Silver, Rod Smith, Richard Mitchell, Skip Cambell, Kendrick Meek, and Representatives Eleanor Sobel, Matt Meadows, Dennis Baxley, Nancy Detert, Don Brown, Mike Fasano, Mike Hogan, Paula Dockery, Will Kendrick, Roger Wishner. 

"Since September 11, American flags have flown proudly from store fronts, office buildings, dorm rooms and car windows. There's absolutely no reason they shouldn't grace the fronts of Floridians' homes," Governor Bush said. "This bill will ensure that all Floridians can show their patriotism, no matter where they live."  

SB148 states, and portions are copied directly from the bill as follows:

   Florida Senate - 2002                            CS for SB 148


    2002 Legislature                                 CS for SB 148

  2         An act relating to to homeowners' associations;
  3         amending s. 720.304, F.S.; providing that any
  4         homeowner may display a United States flag;
  5         amending s. 720.3075, F.S.; prohibiting
  6         association documents from placing certain
  7         restrictions on the display of a United States
  8         flag; providing for retroactive application of
  9         the act; providing an effective date.

30         (2)  Any homeowner may display one portable, removable
31  United States flag in a respectful manner, regardless of any

  1  declaration rules or requirements dealing with flags or
  2  decorations.

The bill goes on to further state:

22        Section 3.  This act applies retroactively regardless
23  of any declaration rules or requirements of a homeowners'
24  association dealing with flags or decorations.
25         Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

Perhaps you feel that due to your demand that I remove my flag “on the advise of your lawyers” that I will feel intimidated since I cannot afford to hire a lawyer to fight you.  However, you are mistaken.  While I cannot afford to hire a lawyer, I will continue to fight for my rights as a Floridian, Veteran, and as an American! I feel very strongly about my country and my Flag.  I served 20 years of active duty in the US Navy and an additional 10 years of reserve duty.  I have stood the watch on foreign lands most of my adult life to protect the freedoms all American enjoy.  I now demand that the freedoms I have fought to maintain for others now be afforded to me.

I note that in your initial letter, I was in violation of your rules because 1) my flag was larger than 3 x 5 (it is in fact 4 x 6), 2) there were two flags flying (The United States Flag, and the United States Navy Flag), and 3) I have a flagpole.  When I delivered my initial response to the community association, the association has 1) a flagpole with 2) a large US flag, and 3) a community association flag (2 flags!).  Why are you allowed to have what you deny others? 

I strongly suggest you reconsider your position concerning my flagpole and comply with the state law and the recent judicial decisions.  My flagpole is at the low end of the size recommended for single story residential flagpoles.  A flagpole is a “proper and respectful” manner in which to display the flag.  It is in compliance with Title 36 United States Code Chapter 10.

Title 36 United States Code Chapter 10 section 176 (Respect for the Flag), suggest that the flag should never be displayed in such a manner as to touch anything beneath it.  It also states the flag should fly aloft and free. The code also states: “The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.”(2).  A flagpole fulfills all of these requirements.  The community association guidelines for a house mounted flagstaff do not allow the flag to fly “aloft and free” and also allows the flag to be easily torn, soiled or damaged by hitting the wall and roof of the residence.  This method also allows the flag to “touch” items beneath it.  Additionally, my neighbors have all expressed support for my flag display and are willing to sign petitions attesting to such.

As I try to understand why this issue is not as clear to others as it is to me, I am reminded of something Lyn Nofziger said, "Government by its very nature is a bully.  Laws give authority to those in government and authority always corrupts, not necessarily in terms of lying, cheating and stealing but in terms of wielding power until eventually it becomes excessive.  The framers of the Constitution thought they had devised a government of limited power, one that would insure liberty and the rights of individuals, one that made government the servant of the people, not its master.  In the long run they failed.  They had to fail because of the imperfection of man.  They failed because individuals, sometimes but not always for the best and most honorable of reasons, inevitably usurp authority and power, regardless of what the Constitution says.  People who enter government service because of a desire to serve forget why they came and wind up with a desire to rule, with a firm belief that they know better than those they are supposed to serve what is good for them.  Or, alternatively, they reach the point where they think the rights of others are secondary.  ...The question now is: How much tyranny are Americans willing to put up with?"

This American is not willing to put up with any more.


                                                                                 Edward F. Granahan 

                                                                                 CTI1(NAC), USN-Retired


  1. Florida Man Free to Fly Flag.  Judge removes restrictions on flags.  Article courtesy of News 4, Posted July 3, 2002
  2. Title 36 United States Code Chapter 10 S 176 (e)

Enclosures: (to cc only)

  1. HCCA letter dated September 13, 2005
  2. My Response to HCCA letter
  3. HCCA letter dated October 19, 2005
  4. Photo of Community Association building and flags

Copy to:

The Honorable Jeb Bush

The Honorable Andy Gardiner

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation,

            Homeowners’ Association Arbitration (Attn:  Susan Wilkinson)

Attorney General Charlie Crist

The American Center for Law and Justice

Attorney Tom Olsen