Veteran faces foreclosure for U.S. flag

By Patrick Santomauro, Producer, psantomauro@wkmg.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:15:36 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 08:40:49 AM EDT

A Florida veteran faces $8,000 in fines and could lose his home because of a small flag placed in a flower pot in front of his home.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A Florida veteran faces $8,000 in fines and could lose his home because of a small flag placed in a flower pot in front of his home.

Larry Murphree of Jacksonville says his homeowners' association in the Sweetwater community wants him to remove the flag because it violates home display rules.

"They just sent me a letter that says I owe them around $8,000 and they put a foreclosure lien on my house," Murphree told WAWS.

The HOA says Murphree has 30 days to pay the fines and remove the flag or it will move forward with the foreclosure.

Murphree says he settled a similar lawsuit with the HOA last year. However, Murphree says the HOA flag display rules were rewritten after the settlement.

"I want it to go away," Murphree said. "It's such a minor little thing and they keep coming after me."

According to Florida statute 720.304 section 2a:

"Any homeowner may display one portable, removable United States flag...in a respectful manner...not larger than 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet...regardless of any covenants, restrictions, bylaws, rules, or requirements of the [homeowners'] association."

Murphree says he plans to fight the HOA until he is allowed to fly his flag.

"When I first moved here, I loved it," Murphree said. "It was wonderful. But it got where I'm being nitpicked more and more. I don't want to move."

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