The flag never loses

St. Augustine, FL

Hello. I am an 81-year-old Air Force veteran. One day the news showed a flag-draped casket coming off an airplane. To show my support, I put a 4x6 inch American flag in a flowerpot on my front porch.

A few days later, the HOA in Sweetwater by Del Webb in Jacksonville, Fla., sent me a violation letter, stating the flag was an unauthorized object and I had to remove it or be fined $1,000. I refused.

Over the next 10 years, the attorneys for the Sweetwater HOA sued me in federal court twice, state court, county court and Circuit Court.

Finally in February 2020, we had a one-day bench trial. The judge took one year and 8 months to rule (Nov. 2021). He ruled we won! So after 12 years of legal fees, losing a home, savings, retirement and two CDs, he awarded me $1,223. I still owe my attorney over $200,000.

The flag never loses, but I lost everything. Never once did I think a judge would bankrupt a veteran for fighting for the right to display the American flag. And yes, I would do it again.

If you Google "Larry Murphree Flag controversy," you will see 10 pages of the ongoing dispute.

Larry L. Murphree
St. Augustine, FL
American Legion Post 233

« Previous story
Next story »