View Full Version : Vet Faces Lawsuit For Flying American Flag

05-28-2008, 03:18 PM
CLERMONT, Fla. -- A Central Florida war veteran faces a lawsuit for flying the American flag on a pole in his front yard.

But state law said anyone can display a flag in a "respectful manner" as long as it is removable.

"I don't understand why it would bring down the values of our homes by flying the American flag from a pole in my front yard," homeowner Jimmie Watkins said.

Watkins and his wife, Ria, received a final notice from the Sussex homeowners' association in Clermont that they must remove the flag or face legal action.

The former retired U.S. Navy communications officer said he refuses to back down for the American flag.

"Our people are serving today to give us freedom to do as we like here within the law of America," Watkins said. "It is my right to fly my flag from my pole and until a court of law tells me to haul that down, I will not haul it down. I think about all of the people who have served our nation and all of the lives that it's cost and all of the friends that I've lost."

The homeowner's association is not commenting about their rules.

Molon Labe
06-11-2008, 08:52 PM
Good for him for not backing down. Standards are one thing in a community, I live in an area with a "covenant" too, but flying the flag is not the same as raising pigs or having a dog kennell.

06-11-2008, 09:51 PM
Gov. Crist Signs Bill Allowing American Flags To Be Flown In Front Yards (http://www.wftv.com/news/16422433/detail.html)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -- A bill signed by Governor Charlie Crist is ending a fight between a Clermont homeowner who wants to fly the American flag and his neighborhood association.

Jimmie Watkins served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He had been ordered to remove a flagpole from his front yard by the Sussex at Kings Ridge neighborhood association.

The new law signed by the governor would allow the flagpoles and specific official U.S. flags, no matter what the homeowners' association rules are.

"There's really no one in America that tells me I can't do that. They might say that, but I'm not listening," said Watkins.

The association would not comment on the dispute, but said that since the governor signed the bill the argument is over. The new law takes effect on July 1.