A Condo HOA Versus Old Glory

As we’ve written in previous blogs, condo homeowner associations (HOAs) have final say when it comes to decorations in and around a condo owner’s home. More often than not it’s a safety issue, but there are HOAs that feel very strongly about aesthetics as well.

Of course, anything can be taken too far — as is the case with a Jacksonville, Florida, condo owner who is currently embroiled in a battle with his HOA over a small American flag.

Larry Murphree, a veteran, was told by his HOA that he couldn’t display the flag in a flower pot in front of his condo. He filed a lawsuit over it, believing that he had every right to display a symbol of patriotism for the sacrifices both he and other members of the armed forces have made over the years.

In response, the HOA rewrote the condo rules to specify how and where American flags could be displayed, and threatened Murphree with a $100-a-day fine until the flag was removed. Murphree wouldn’t budge, so now the HOA has placed a lien on his property, claiming he owes unpaid HOA dues, a claim Murphree denies. He now flies the offending flag upside down, which is “a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

Things sure can get ugly in an HOA/owner battle, can’t they?

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