Article Courtesy of The Daily
By Evie Fordham
Published July 13, 2018
A Florida veteran is suing his homeowners association (HOA) for $1 million after
he was forced to sell his home over a 17-inch American flag he kept in a front
porch flower pot.
Former U.S. Air Force air traffic controller Larry Murphree started incurring
fines of $100 a day for an “unauthorized object” from the HOA at Tides
Condominium in Sweetwater, Florida, in 2011, reported The Washington Post. The
ensuing struggle with the 55-and-older community caused Murphree to sell his
home in 2015.
“It just dawned on me there’s people that strap on a gun every day to protect me
and the people I love,” Murphree told Fox News. “It’s a small flag, but it
stands for a big thank you.”
Murphree would not remove the flag and lawyered up 10 days after the first fine
in 2011, reported the Washington Examiner. He filed a lawsuit in federal court
and reached a compromise with the HOA that let him keep the flag in the flower
pot in 2012.
But while he was recovering from neck surgery, the HOA began siphoning his dues
to pay new $100-a-day fines. The HOA had started charging Murphree again because
of new regulations about items like the flower pot on his porch, reported The
Washington Post. The association got a lien on his property, and he sold it at a
loss to avoid foreclosure, Murphree told First Coast News.
Now the veteran is living in St. Augustine, Florida, awaiting the start of his
new trial against the HOA in 2019. Murphree proudly displays eight American
flags on his new property, reported Fox News.