A 73-year-old veteran is being threatened with foreclosure unless he pays an $8,000 dollar fine – all for displaying a small American flag in a plant pot outside his Sweetwater, Florida home.
When Larry Murphree placed the stars and stripes in a flower pot on his front porch, he received a letter from the Sweetwater Homeowner’s Association demanding that he pay the huge fine within 30 days or be slapped with a foreclosure lien on his house.
“There’s an actual Florida statute that says he can display this flag,” legal expert Dale Carson told WTEV-47, an opinion backed up by federal law, contradicting claims by the HOA that Murphee is in violation of recently re-written rules concerning flag displays.
Murphee has been battling the HOA over the issue for more than two years, having already filed a lawsuit against the HOA and settled out of court. “They settled that case and I thought that would be the end of it,” said Murphree.
The veteran is vowing to continue the fight until he is left alone.
“I have a right to have it there,” Murphree told First Coast News. “They’ve got a foreclosure on my house that’s why the flag is upside down. (I am) hurt disappointed that they just keep going after the American flag and after me.”
However, if you thought the situation didn’t sound ludicrous enough, it gets worse. Murphee accuses the HOA of creating a bizarre new rule just to target him which bans the placing of “unauthorized objects” in plant pots or foliage.
“Now they’re saying they can say what can go into a flower pot and the American flag is an unauthorized object,” said Murphee.
First Coast News reporter Ken Amaro noted that the flag is “barely noticeable.”
On top of the $8,000 fine for the violation and attorney fees, Murphee is being hit with further penalties of $100 for every day he displays the flag.
Governments and local authorities routinely harass Americans for flying Old Glory on their private property, a chilling illustration of how the United States is actually beginning to resemble a nanny state.
Last week we reported on how a Texan man was told by his apartment manager that he must remove his American flag hanging on his patio because it’s a “threat to the Muslim community.”