Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC

HOA dispute about American flag

Florida residents might like to know about the patriotic stand one man is taking. When a retired officer of the U.S. Navy was told by his Tallahassee homeowner's association to remove the American flag covering his mailbox, the veteran refused. The man is appealing the letter he received that said the flag didn't fit in with his neighborhood's aesthetic values.

The Southwood HOA concluded that the flag was a holiday decoration for the Fourth of July, and holiday displays are only allowed for a fixed amount of time. However, the man says that his flag has been wrapped around his mailbox for four years.

The Southwood Residential Community Association's board released a statement supporting veterans, and the organization says it will work with the man to find a solution to this dispute. Community residents are able to fly multiple flags on their property, but the HOA could fine the man if the flag is not removed from his mailbox within 15 days. The veteran's appeal has not received a response.

The former navy officer believes the letter he received is a form of bullying. The man's neighbors said they had no problem with the flag and supported a veteran's right to display patriotism for his country. However, the neighbors were not particularly surprised by the actions of the HOA.

Those who must deal with a homeowners associations are likely familiar with the seemingly trivial rules and requirements that can cause frustration and annoyance. While these associations can be nuisances, there may be times when it is appropriate to challenge the actions of an organization like this. An attorney could help one make this decision.

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