Flying flags on property "regardless of any local homeowners' association covenants…”

Article Courtesy of The Islander News

By Hillard Grossman

Published July 6, 2023


Want to fly a patriotic flag of your choice in any homeowners' association this July 4? Now, Patriots Day (Sept. 11) has been added to the lineup.

How about parking your boat out back? Or flying a flag year-round in the back yard?

Go ahead. The law is on your side.

That law, which becomes effective July 1, was among the 235 bills that passed during the 2023 session of the Florida Legislature.

Those include allowing the surveillance of vehicles passing a stopped school bus, another that prevents nearly all Chinese citizens and from specific other countries from buying property in Florida, and companies with 25 or more immigrants will have to use the federal E-Verify system when hiring workers.

Here is a glance at some of the hot-button topics:

Flying flags, parking boats (CS/CS/HB 437)

Starting Saturday morning, homeowners may fly portable, removable, official flags no larger than 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet, "regardless of any local homeowners' association covenants, restrictions, bylaws, rules, or requirements to the contrary," according to the bill titled, "Property Owners' Right to Install, Display, and Store Items."

The law adds Patriots Day (Sept. 11) to the lineup of Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. You can also fly a flag in your back yard all the time, provided it can’t be seen from the street.

On those days, you may fly up to two of the following:

  • The United States flag

  • The official flag of the State of Florida

  • A flag representing the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, or Coast Guard

  • A POW-MIA flag

  • A flag honoring first responders, including law enforcement, firefighters, certain medical personnel, correctional officers, 911 operators, etc.

Residents also are allowed to put up a freestanding flagpole no more than 20 feet high anywhere on their property if it doesn't obstruct sightlines at intersections and isn't on an easement. You can put up to two flags on it, providing one of them (the top one) is the U.S. flag.

The bill also blocks HOAs from restricting homeowners or their tenants from putting anything in their yards which aren't visible from the front or from an adjacent parcel, "including, but not limited to, artificial turf, boats, flags and recreational vehicles."