- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2001

George Andres of Jupiter, Fla., figures the price tag for flying his American flag in defiance of a court order for the past nine months is about $52,000.
Flying Old Glory from a pole he erected in front of his town house earned him disfavor from the neighborhood homeowners association, which took him to a judge who agreed that the pole violated the association's bylaws.
Circuit Judge Catherine Brunson ordered Mr. Andres to bring the pole down, calling it "an unauthorized improvement to the property."
"I wasn't going to just stop flying it, but I cut back to just federal holidays" said Mr. Andres, 64, a Korean War veteran and retired electrician from New York. "I mean — what — people can burn the flag, but they aren't allowed to fly it?"
Last week, Mr. Andres was hauled into court again for his defiance, with the former fire department chief facing 90 days in the local slammer. Instead, he was told to pay $100 for each day the pole was planted outside his home since the order in October to remove it.
Two members of the homeowners association said that was 73 days, and they had the pictures to prove it.
The crux of the judge's ruling was the pole Mr. Andres has planted, said Steven Selz, the West Palm Beach lawyer who represents the homeowner's association.
"It was never said that he could not fly the flag," Mr. Selz said. He contends that the association simply did not like the sight of the 15-foot flag pole in the middle of the otherwise demure settlement.
"He can fly that flag anytime," the lawyer said. "There are 17 others in the subdivision that do so, from a bracket on the side of their homes. I respect the fact that he's a very patriotic guy. But it's sad that it has come to this."
Countered Mr. Andres: "How can you fly a flag without a pole?"
The former Marine has made appearances on several talk shows, from IIlinois to Texas, and his feud has also drawn him support from Florida's 1.77 million veterans.
Mr. Andres has always had a flag pole. He lived 18 patriotic years with the flag unfurling daily from a pole in front of his previous home in nearby Martin County. Before that, he lived in upstate New York, the Stars and Stripes waving from a pole.
He moved to Indian Shores, a subdivision of 96 homes that run between $90,000 and $100,000, in 1998, although he owned a home there before moving in. He said he knew the rules and did the proper thing to ensure his flag, and pole, were OK.
"I get here, and they approve my flag pole," he said in his thick Brooklyn accent. "Seven months later, the board changes, and they tell me it has to go."
Mr. Andres cites a state law, under the state's provisions on homeowner's associations, that he believes allows his patriotism to go unfettered. Even against the wishes of his neighbors.
"It's constitutional," Mr. Andres said. "The federal law allows me to fly the flag. I think the judge missed that."
The judge did not return calls.
The courtroom fight has rung up quite a bill. He figures $25,000 for his own attorney, which he has already paid; $25,000 for the homeowners association legal costs, which he was ordered to pay and at least $7,200 in fines.
He cannot afford to be such a rebel at this point, so the flag has sat, properly folded, inside his home since the fine was levied.
But, today, Independence Day, he will make an exception.
"I know it will cost me $100, but I'll fly it anyway," said Mr. Andres.
Added his wife, Ann: "How could they fine us for flying the flag on the Fourth of July?"
And there's more fight left in this aging veteran.
Next week, the supportive veterans are coming over to his neighborhood for a little rally.
"We expect 600 of them," Mr. Andres said. "On this little street. And we're going to raise the flag again."

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