FLYING "OLD GLORY" ? Editorial - Week of September 30, 2001
Fly It Proud
Homeowners Should "Out" Community Assn's & Developers
Who Are Prohibiting Display of the U.S. Flag
Article courtesy of
Just days before the 1988 Republican convention, Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-MA) led then-Vice President George Bush by 17 points in polling for that year's presidential election. 
Then came the infamous Willie Horton commercial and word that Dukakis had vetoed
state legislation requiring public school teachers to lead their class in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. "What is it about the Pledge of Allegiance that bothers him so much?" Bush would ask the crowds at campaign rallies. 

Dukakis would end up losing in an electoral landslide, 426-111. 

Today, with patriotic fever at levels not seen since World War II, there are still people that just don't get it. 

A few days after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Florida Governor Jeb Bush encouraged residents to fly the U.S. flag in order to "show defiance to the perpetrators of these awful acts and their protectors abroad." 

Never would he have expected to begin receiving emails from Floridians who would tell him that their homeowner association agreements were prohibiting the flying of the U.S. flag in front of their homes. 

The Governor has since asked for legislation to prohibit homeowner associations from having such provisions in their agreements. 

Almost immediately following the Governor's announcement, Florida State Senator Steven A. Geller (D-Hallandale Beach) introduced SB 148. His bill says simply: 

Any homeowner may display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful way regardless of any documents, declarations of covenants, articles of incorporation, or bylaws of the association dealing with flags or decorations. 
Yet, amazingly, Geller's legislation has not yet one single sponsor in the Florida House of Representatives. 

Likewise, State Senator Anna P. Cowin (R-Leesburg) introduced SB 150. Her bill says: 

It is unlawful for any person to interfere with the display of the flag of the United States. Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Both bills are straightforward enough. But, other legislators are balking because most of them receive hefty campaign contributions from wealthy association board members and multi-million dollar land development corporations. [Sorry, we don't know if any of these developers have contracts with Osama bin Laden's family construction business. But, if you find out, let us know!] 

We've long known about how these cliques try to dictate everything from what color the homes in the neighborhood can be painted to what flowers are permitted to be planted in front of homes. Just this week we heard yet another amazing story: a Florida couple was fined $100 per day for three days by their association for hanging up "Snoopy" curtains in their child's playroom. 

But, prohibiting residents from flying the flag? What's next? Thought police? 

Is it that the people who make such decisions love bin Laden or are their brains merely as dense as Dukakis' was that day he vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance bill? 

Why else would business and community leaders who sit on homeowner association boards, backed by multi-million dollar developers, prohibit or make it exceedingly difficult for individual homeowners in their communities to fly the American flag? 

Why else would golf courses prohibit golfers from attaching flags to their carts? 

Why else would a Florida insurance company prohibit their employees from displaying desktop U.S. flags? 

Is it worth it for such developers and association board members to have their names and businesses exposed to the public? 

Is it worth it for a golf course to get publicity in such a manner? 

Is it worth it for an insurance company to lose business from potential policyholders who don't understand how the American flag could offend them so much? 

What do these people hope to gain? 

We would hope that homeowners whose associations are prohibiting or making it difficult for them to fly the flag in front of their homes do a little more than just email their governor. 

Instead, they should show some defiance and fly the flag proudly. If they get fined by their association, challenge the fine in court. If some judge upholds the fine, recall or oust the judge in the next election. 

Support state legislation to override these idiotic homeowner association rules. 

Recall or defeat legislators who fail to support such bills, as well as those who play tricks on getting such legislation killed in committees without having recorded votes. Blind side them. Pick one or two such legislators and bombard them with coordinated direct mail, phone banks and broadcast ads a week or two before their next election. Urge that they run for a spot in the Taliban leadership instead. 

Refuse to patronize businesses owned by these homeowner association board members and developers and, more importantly, "out them", so that the public at large can know who they are. 

Flood the media and newspapers with emails and letters about which associations are stifling the display of the greatest symbol of freedom of speech in the world: the American flag. 

And, finally, pitch in and buy such bozos one-way airplane tickets to Afghanistan. 

Click here to read the media reports about the law-suits !
Please click here to read the political side of this story and the attempts to rectify this obvious WRONG 
Please read our Dispatch regarding this issue!