FL vet could lose home for displaying American flag

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 11:42am

JACKSONVILLE, FL (WAWS) — A Jacksonville, Florida veteran could be forced out of his home if he doesn't pay the HOA fine for displaying an American flag in one of his flower pots.

The stars and stripes are at the center of controversy at least at Larry Murphree's home.

"I want it to go away. It's such a minor little thing and they keep coming after me."

They is Murphree's homeowners association. He's lived in the Sweetwater community for years and been at odds with the HOA for more than two years over the display of an American flag.

The veteran decided to put one in his flower pot, and has been fined as a result.

"They just sent me a letter that says I owe them around $8,000 and they put a foreclosure lien on my house."

We wanted to know how that's possible, so we took our questions to legal and safety expert Dale Carson.

"There's an actual Florida statute that says he can display this flag."

Federal law from 2005 also backs that up.

We reached out to the law office that represents the HOA and got Attorney, Michelle Haines. She tells us if payment is not made within 30 days, the law office can move forward with foreclosure on Murphree's home.

Last year, after a similar fight, he filed a lawsuit and settled out of court, but the HOA flag display rules have been rewritten since then. Murphree said he won't stop until he can freely fly his flag.

"When I first moved here, I loved it. it was wonderful. But it got where I'm being nitpicked more and more. I've lost a lot of friends and neighbors moving out. I don't want to move." 

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