Condo owner fights HOA over placement of his American Flag

Article and Video Courtesy of First Coast News

By Ken Amaro

Published June 24, 2014

 Watch VIDEO


JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Larry Murphree, 73, keeps a small american flag in the flower pot near his front door.

"I have a right to have it there," he said.

But his Homeowners Association is telling him the flag has to go. He is now flying a much bigger flag in his garage upside down.


"They've got a foreclosure on my house that's why the flag is upside down," said Murphree.

Murphree home is in the Tides Condominium at Sweetwater. The HOA allows flags to be flown in certain locations, during daylight hours.

This is the second time he has been in a fight with the HOA over his use of old glory.

"They settled that case and I thought that would be the end of it," said Murphree.


It is not, the association is citing him again, not for the flag, but for where it is located. Since his last fight the HOA has new guidelines for potted plants

"Now they're saying they can say what can go into a flower pot and the american flag is an unauthorized object," he said.

According to court records the HOA rule limits the content of planters to foliage and flowers; he believes the rule was create just for him.

"(I am ) hurt disappointed that they just keep going after the american flag and after me," said Murphree.

June 2013 Murphree filed a seven count lawsuit against his HOA in federal court; March 2014 that lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice. He can file his lawsuit in state court.

The property manager Katie Hollis was not was available for comment and did not return calls.


The HOA's attorney Michelle Haines said the federal courts decision shows Murphree has no cause to sue the association and there's no ongoing litigation.

"I don't think it is right," said Murphree.

Each day he keeps the flag in the pot is a $100 fine; Murphree said he's now being billed $8,000 in violation and attorney fees. And they've also began the foreclosure process to collect.

Muphree said he's fought them before and he'll fight them again; he feels as a homeowner he has a right to do what he's doing and to save his home.