Courtesy of Action News Jax
Published April 7, 2023
JACKSONVILLE — A Florida bill protecting homeowners’ right to fly certain
flags outside of their homes cleared its second Senate committee Wednesday
In 2017 Action News Jax brought you the story of a
homeowner in St. Johns County who was told by their
homeowner’s association, they had to take down the Thin Blue
Line flag displayed outside their home.
One year later, a local Jacksonville business ran into
problems with the city for displaying military flags on its
Now, a bill moving in the State Capitol aims to protect
homeowners’ right to display certain flags, regardless of
any HOA restrictions.
“The law enforcement community has been talking about this
for a long time,” Steve Zona, President of the Florida State
Fraternal Order of Police, said.
Zona explained the bill attempts to stop HOAs from
preventing people from displaying patriotic flags and flags
showing support for first responders.
Florida bill would protect right
to fly flags on homes
“Homeowners associations on this issue have kind of
overstepped their bounds and overreached and we’re happy to see this
legislation moving forward,” Zona said.
The bill specifically protects homeowners’ right to display the US and
Florida Flags, flags supporting law enforcement and other first responders,
as well as the flags of the country’s military branches.
However, the bill would still allow HOAs to prohibit the
display of other flags like those representing the LGBTQ community, causes
like Black Lives Matter and flags supporting political candidates.
In 2020, a Jacksonville resident filed suit against his HOA after it told
him he couldn’t fly a Black Lives Matter flag on his home.
That case is still being litigated.
Zona argued the flags covered by the bill aren’t controversial and deserve
the additional protections.
“You know, some people want to say it’s divisive. It’s not divisive because
if you look at the voting history in the House and the Senate, this is
almost unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats and you know, they
all realize the meaning behind this legislation,” Zona said.
The bill only has one more committee stop in both the Senate and the House.
In the four committees, the bill has already passed through, it’s received
just a single no vote.