By Eric Glazer, Esq.

Published May 27, 2013


            Memorial Day is a national holiday dedicated to honoring those that have died while serving in our armed forces.  The holiday was once referred to as Decoration Day, inasmuch as the tombstones of fallen soldiers were and in some cases still are actually "decorated" to honor them.  It seems almost ironic then that a national holiday known for encouraging decorations, also causes battles between community associations and those who wish to decorate their homes with American flags or other patriotic displays.  Every year, without fail, stories make the news about an association telling an owner to take down an American flag or other display.


Here is what our Florida statutes allow:


In a condominium --- Any unit owner may display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful way and, on Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, may display in a respectful way portable, removable official flags, not larger than 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet, that represent the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with flags or decorations.


In an HOA - Any homeowner may display one portable, removable United States flag or official flag of the State of Florida in a respectful manner, and one portable, removable official flag, in a respectful manner, not larger than 41/2 feet by 6 feet, which represents the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or a POW-MIA flag, regardless of any covenants, restrictions, bylaws, rules, or requirements of the association.  (HOA owners can even erect a flag pole)


          As many of you know, I spent a great deal of time this past year trying to bring the condo statutes and HOA statutes closer together, the intent being that owners in one type of community have the same rights as owners in the other type of community.  The above statutes are yet another example of inconsistencies that make no sense.  In a condominium, it must be Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day or Veterans Day in order to display a flag that represents the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard.  In an HOA -- a homeowner can display such a flag all year round.


          Go tell a former marine that he can't display his Marine Corps flag because he lives in a condo - but former Marines who live in an HOA can display the Marine Corps flag all year round.  You may want to duck.


          More importantly, why is it that we hear these stories year after year of associations demanding that the American flag or other patriotic decorations be removed from front lawns or windows?  On the contrary, we almost never hear complaints from associations about over zealous Christmas decorations or other holiday displays.  What is it about the display of the American flag or similar decorations that causes association leadership to sometimes demand that even the most tactful and tasteful displays of patriotism be immediately removed?  I'm not suggesting that a homeowner be allowed to paint their entire home red white and blue with 50 stars.  I am suggesting however that associations must often make the choice of picking and choosing their battles, and far too often the battle chosen seems to be a battle against our own flag. 

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About HOA & Condo Blog

Eric Glazer

Eric Glazer graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after receiving a B.A. from NYU. He is currently entering his 20th year as a Florida lawyer practicing

community association law and is the owner of Glazer and Associates, P.A. an eight attorney law firm in Orlando and Hollywood For the past two years Eric has been the host of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show on 850 WFTL. 



He is the first attorney in the State of Florida that designed a course that certifies condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium Board of Directors and has now certified more than 2,500 Floridians. He is certified as a Circuit Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Finally, he recently argued the Cohn v. Grand Condominium case before The Florida Supreme Court, which is perhaps the single most important association law case decided by the court in a decade. 

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