Fort Lauderdale man says condo association cited him for flying American flag

Neighbor says flag is 'extending into my territory'

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Old Glory flies high around the Bay Colony Club Condos in Fort Lauderdale. But for residents who display a flag on their own property, the move could cause a big problem.

Louis Lauer, a longtime condo owner there, has been hit with at least four citations and warnings just within the past month.

"I've had this flag up for the last three and a half years," he said.

Lauer's American flag flies right over his enclosed patio. But the condo association has since tweaked its rules on where the personal U.S. flags should be placed.

"It's very unfair, especially (because) there's a lot of military and ex-military and disabled veterans that live in this complex, and they should be able to fly their flag when they want to and be proud of it," Lauer said. 

There are state and federal laws to protect homeowners against ill-meaning acts, like the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act that was passed in 2005 which states: "A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association."

Neighbor Vivian Ayoub is all for the change at the complex and said it has nothing to do with being unpatriotic.

"It's going beyond his floor, extending into my territory," Ayoub said. "I am as patriotic as they come."

Ayoub told Local 10 News that she just wants the flags in the correct places.

"I don't obstruct anybody else's domain, and I don't want anybody else obstructing mine," she said. 

"It's definitely overreach, and also their ability to investigate and check what the laws are before they just customarily make a rule," Lauer said.

A board meeting is expected to be held Thursday night to discuss the issue.

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