Florida Lawmakers Could Revamp HOA Flag Rules

Article Courtesy of The News Service Of Florida March 20, 2023

Published March 23, 2023


A bill began advancing Monday in the Florida House that would expand the number of flags that residents can display regardless of homeowners associations’ covenants or bylaws.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted 15-1 to approve the proposal (HB 437), with Rep. Ashley Gantt, D-Miami, casting the dissenting vote. Under current law, homeowners can display one U.S. flag or state of Florida flag “in a respectful manner” and one POW-MIA flag or a flag representing various branches of the military.

The bill would allow the display of two of any of the currently permitted flags and would add first-responder flags to the list.

The bill defines such flags as “a flag that recognizes and honors the services of” law-enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, correctional officers, 911 public-safety telecommunicators, registered nurses, and members of urban search-and-rescue programs.

The House panel approved a change Monday that would allow U.S. flags “regardless of the colors used on the flag.”

The bill also requires that American flags displayed must be “without any additional emblems or text.” Bill sponsor James Buchanan, R-Osprey, said the measure was inspired by a “Blue Line Club” club of homeowners in his district.

Gantt said her concern “would be the HOA’s ability to have a private contract with their residents and how (the bill) would impact that.” The Senate Regulated Industries Committee is slated Tuesday to take up a similar Senate bill (SB 1454).