Florida Man Free To Fly Flag
Judge Removes Restrictions On Flags
Article Courtesy of News 4
Posted: July 3, 2002

JUPITER, Fla. -- He's paid a high price for his patriotism, but a Jupiter man won his three-year battle Tuesday to fly the American flag. 

 After thousands of dollars in fines, dozens of public protests and a lien on his home George Andres walked out of court a winner Tuesday. 

A judge ruled that Anders could continue to fly his American flag, despite the fact that the way he flies it is against his neighborhood association's regulations. 

Andres, a former Marine, has been fighting his homeowners' association for almost three years to keep his flag flying on top of a 12-foot pole in his

front yard. The Indian Creek Homeowners' Association guidelines state the flag may only be flown from brackets attached to a house. 

"Guys overseas right now -- what are they putting their lives on the line for? That flag," Andres said. "Millions of people have put their lives on the line to protect the flag. For me, I feel the same way. I would go again tomorrow if I had to." 

In a surprising ruling Tuesday, circuit judge Ronald Alvarez removed all homeowners' association's restrictions against flying the American flag. 

"It's a great thing to happen right before the Fourth of July, because now, George is independent from any type of restriction on his right to fly the flag," attorney Barry Silver said. 

The homeowners' association fined Andres $100 a day for flying the flag, but during that time, he garnered support from people all over the country. 

Last July, veterans raised their voices in salute of Old Glory to show their support. 

A local radio station also raised money to help Andres keep the flag flying. And Gov. Jeb Bush signed a law in April that makes it illegal to ban anyone from flying the American flag, unless it poses a safety hazard. 

Bush visited Andres last month on Flag Day to show his support. 

In nearly three years Andres has racked up fines close to $70,000. He has paid out almost $40,000 in attorney's fees. A lien recently was placed on his house. 

"The last two months have been very rough on us, trying to figure out how we're going to pay bills. We live on social security and our pension. I had to go out and get a temporary job to help bring in some funds, so I can pay my bills," Andres said. 

A hearing will be scheduled to determine whether Andres will have to pay the fees that are still outstanding. 

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