- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A 73-year-old military veteran living in Jacksonville, Fla., has been fined $8,000 by his homeowners association because he won’t remove a small American flag from his front-yard flower pot.

Larry Murphree said the HOA has also placed a lien on his home, United Press International reported.

“I have a right to have it there,” Mr. Murphree said to First Coast News. “They’ve got a foreclosure on my house — that’s why the flag is upside down. [I’m] hurt, disappointed that they just keep going after the American flag and after me.”

His dispute with the Sweetwater HOA at his Tides Condominium has been going on for more than two years, UPI said. He previously reached an out-of-court settlement with the HOA over a similar legal issue. But since, the HOA has rewritten its rules and regulations — and, apparently, U.S. flags in flower pots are no longer allowed.

“When I first moved here, I loved it,” Mr. Murphree said, Action News reported. “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.”

Meanwhile, an attorney for the HOA said Mr. Murphree might have to do just that in 30 days, when foreclosure proceedings could start, if he doesn’t pay the $8,000 fine.

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