GOP Lawmakers Back Fla. Man in Rift Over Displaying Flag

Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 10:28 PM

By Todd Beamon

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A Florida man who may lose his home for displaying an American flag outside it has received support from two of the Sunshine State's Republicans in Congress.

"When did we relinquish our common sense as citizens in this country?" Rep. Gus Bilirakis, vice chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, asked The Hill.

Bilirakis is backing Larry Murphree, 73, who is facing foreclosure of his Jacksonville condominium this month because he has refused to pay $8,000 in fines for hanging a small flag in a flower pot on his front porch, the Hill reports. The flag violates the rules of the community's homeowners' association.

"It is absurd that a veteran who wants to display his love of country is being punished. It is even more preposterous that he could lose his home," Bilirakis said. "The homeowners association should do the right thing and waive the fees and let Mr. Murphree exercise his First Amendment rights."

Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who represents the district in which Murphree lives, called him a "true patriot."

"Larry Murphree's dedication to country in the Vietnam War and his fight to fly the American flag today is the story of a true patriot, and I commend him," Crenshaw told The Hill.

Murphree told Fox News that displaying the flag demonstrated pride and support for U.S. troops. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

"The flag is worth fighting for," he told Fox. "If they want to foreclose, bring it on. I'm getting calls from all over the country to stand up. That's what I'm going to do."

Murphree and the homeowners' association at Tides Condominium at Sweetwater began their battle in 2011, when the association charged that he had improperly hung a flag outside his home.

He sued the association, and everyone eventually reached a settlement, The Hill reports.

But last year, the group changed its rules — barring Murphree from displaying the flag in his flower pot — and it has since fined him $100 a day for the violation.

Now the association says that Murphree owes $8,000 and it will start foreclosure proceedings if he doesn't pay the fines soon, reports The Hill.

A federal court turned down a second lawsuit Murphree brought against the association, but said he could pursue the matter in state court.

Michelle Haines, the association's attorney, told Fox that Florida law allows her client to fine any condo owner $100 a day, up to a maximum of $1,000.

She said the association would foreclose on Murphree for being delinquent on his monthly assessment, Fox reports.

"It's a small flag, but it stands for a big thank you and it shows the love and respect I have for my country," Murphree told Fox.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Scientists Warn Florida Governor of Threat From Climate Change

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 20:06 PM

Five climate scientists warned Florida Governor Rick Scott in a meeting on Tuesday that a steadily rising ocean was a ma . . .

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Ferguson Protests Are About Class, Not Race

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 19:26 PM

The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, is not about racism but about class warfare and how poor people are not advancing in A . . .

Rep. Paul Ryan: GOP Must Learn From Mistakes in War on Poverty

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 17:46 PM

Republicans often aren't taken seriously in their effort to alleviate poverty, Rep. Paul Ryan admits, and he suggested t . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved