SWEETWATER, Fla. – For the past seven years, an Air Force veteran says he has been in a bitter battle with his homeowner’s association.
After moving into the Tides Condominium in Sweetwater, Larry Murphee decided to display his patriotism with a small American Flag in a flower-pot.
“I got a violation letter that stated the American flag was an unauthorized object and for me to take it down,” Murphee said.
When Murphee refused to take down the flag, he was fined $100 a day for as long as the flag was displayed.
His lawyer filed a lawsuit in federal court, but says the association agreed the flag could be flown.
However, things changed a few months later.
“Somehow, they re-categorized it and started doing the same thing again,” Gust Sarris, Murphee’s lawyer, told WTLV.
The flower-pot guidelines stated that only flowers or foliage would be allowed in flower-pots.
Murphee was again charged $100 a day for not removing the flag, and he says the association kept a close eye on everything he did.
He says he was given violations for not parking straight enough in his driveway, for having a snowflake Christmas window decoration and for putting solar lights up at Christmas.
After seven years, he sold his condo at a loss so that he’d be able to move.
“Somebody had to stand up and say, ‘This is not right,'” Murphee said.