Veteran, 73, may lose home for flag in flower pot; facing 8,000 fine, lien on house

A Florida homeowner may lose his house after putting a small American flag in a planter.

In a bizarre move, the Tides Condominium in Sweetwater is fining 73-year-old Larry Murphree $100 a day for the planter placement. The association also filed a lien against his house and is demanding attorney’s fees, according to First Coast News.

“They just sent me a letter that says I owe them around $8,000, and they put a foreclosure lien on my house,” Murphree told the News.

To protest the punishment, Murphree is flying a large American flag upside down in his garage.

The argument first erupted two years ago and was settled out of court, according to Jacksonville’s Action News WTEV. Since then, the association redefined its flag policies, specifically mandating that only plants and flowers can be placed in planters.

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 “I am hurt, disappointed that they just keep going after the American flag and after me,” he told First Coast News.

WTEV checked with legal expert Dale Carson, who told the station the law was on Murphree’s side.

“There’s an actual Florida statute that says he can display this flag,” he said.

Watch Murphree’s interview via First Coast News.


Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]


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