'Flag man's' Bushnell son watches court
Article Courtesy of the Daily Commercial
Daily Commercial Staff Writer 

George Andres Jr., a mechanic for the Sumter County School District, is waiting today to hear what a West Palm County circuit court judge has to say about his father. 

George Andres Sr. was sued by his homeowners association over a 12-foot flagpole and American flag he erected in his yard. “My dad is a Marine because there is no such thing as an ex-Marine,” Andres Jr. said. “When he puts his mind to something, watch out.” 

Andres Jr. used to live four units from his parents in the deed-restricted community of Indian Creek in Jupiter. 

Gov. Jeb Bush called Andres Sr. earlier this year and later sent him a letter supporting the An-dres’ 18-month battle with the Indian Creek Homeowners Association over the flag and pole. 

“Members of the Legislature and I were shocked at the difficulties you confronted merely be-cause you wished to fly a small United States flag in front of your home,” Bush wrote. “In response, we crafted Senate Bill 148 to remedy these difficulties faced by you and other homeowners.” 

Bush was responding to a letter Andres Sr. sent him last month. The association had ordered Andres Sr. in October 2000 to take the flag down. 

Andres Sr. refused, saying a previous board had given him permission for the pole. He was taken to court. Judges rules against Andres in two court decisions, and last month the as-sociation filed a foreclosure lien on his home. Court-ordered fines and penalties have risen to about $30,000, Andres, Sr. said. 

The legal battle has prompted the governor and Legislature to collaborate earlier this year on the bill that prohibits associations from interfering with the rights of property owners to fly American flags from portable poles “in a respectful manner.” 

“Basically my father didn’t get permission,” Andres Jr. said. “From my point of view, it started out as a personal vendetta.” 

Bush said in the letter to Andres Sr. that the new law would cover grievances before the law’s passage. 

“The intent behind this law was specifically to remedy situations such as yours. The bill is retroactive in effect to provide as much assistance for you and other homeowners facing similar difficulties as possible,” Bush stated. West Palm Beach County Judge David Crow accepted an injunction by Andres’ attorneys Tuesday. 

“The judge said keep the flag flying because this is good state law,” said Ann Andres, wife of Andres Sr. 

Crow, however, couldn’t rule on the flagpole, she said. West Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward Fine is expected today to make a final ruling on the case. 

Andres Jr. plans to make the 200-mile trip to his parents home Thursday in time to be with his family to celebrate Flag Day, Saturday, June 15. 

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