By Jan Bergemann

Published May 31, 2013


We have heard it over and over again: Board members of homeowners’ associations are trying to prohibit homeowners to fly Ol’ Glory on their own private property. And it seems that even the most expensive lawsuits lost by HOAs can’t deter any other boards to stop this nonsense.


Newspapers and TV stations have a field day with reporting about another case filling the pages or creating a 3-minute news report. Hundreds of comments will be posted under these reports and about every one of the commentators will slam the “stupid” and “unpatriotic” board members.


I posted whole collections of articles about flag wars on our websites:


The most famous case of a war over “Ol” Glory” was most likely the case of the so-called “Jupiter Flag Man” George Andres. It even attracted the attention of Governor Jeb Bush, who donated a $100 bill to pay for the daily fine levied by the homeowners’ association against the former Marine. After years of battle in various courts attorney Barry Silver, who represented former Marine George Andres pro-bono, was finally able to collect $123,750 – courtesy of the other owners of the Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowner's Association Inc. in Jupiter.



But don’t forget, that was only a small amount of the legal fees this battle over Ol’ Glory has cost the association, because their attorney sure didn’t work for free. Even the office of the Attorney General – at that time Charlie Crist – got involved and helped the Jupiter Flag Man win his case. In the end attorneys made lots of money, paid by the neighbors of the Flag Man – and the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph still waved!


Many other boards followed suit – with similar bad results – much to the pleasure of some attorneys. If the flags are displayed in a proper manner – what’s wrong with it? And since it’s our flag I can only repeat what we hear so often in our community associations: If you don’t like it – MOVE! But I guess that person has to move out of the country, since this is still the US National Flag – last I heard!


A question to board members: WILL YOU EVER LEARN?

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Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website:

Educational Website:

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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