Restrictions on Display of Certain Flags Within Community Associations

February 16th, 2021

Posted in Business & Corporate Law,Real Estate Law

For many people, one of the most attractive aspects of living in a condominium or homeowners’ association is to have an aesthetically pleasing environment. To that end, there are often restrictions on displays by owners. This blog post covers the unique aspects of certain flags.

Owners in a homeowners’ association 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 4 ½ feet by 6 feet, which represents the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or a POW-MIA flag, regardless of any other restriction or requirement contained within any governing document of the homeowners’ association.  The display of any other flag by a homeowner which does not meet this description would likely require compliance with the governing documents of the homeowners’ association, including any architectural review board or committee requirements.  Additionally, Florida Statute §720.304(2) permits homeowners to erect a freestanding flagpole no more than 20 feet high on any portion of the homeowner’s real property if the flagpole does not obstruct sightlines at intersections and is not erected within or upon an easement, for the purposes of displaying an appropriate flag.  A second official flag, in addition to the United States flag, may be displayed on the flagpole so long as it is not larger than the United States flag. The flagpole and display are subject to all building code, zoning setbacks, and other applicable governmental regulations, including, but not limited to, noise and lighting ordinances in the county or municipality in which the flagpole is erected and all setback and locational criteria contained in the governing documents. 

For condominium unit owners, Florida Statute §718.113(4) allows the display of 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 ½ feet by 6 feet, that represent the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, regardless of any condominium association restrictions, rules or regulations.

The governing documents of a homeowners’ association or condominium association may contain restrictions or requirements with respect to the display of any other non-official flags that are not expressly approved by the Florida Statutes.  A homeowner or condominium unit owner should confirm whether it is appropriate to display any other flag with the community association manager or the board of directors prior to erecting any flag which does not conform with the requirements of the Florida Statutes or the governing documents of their community.  An application to the architectural review board or committee may also be required for any non-approved flag.  The Board of Directors for a homeowners or condominium association should consult with their attorney to confirm that their governing documents do not conflict with the Florida Statutes with respect to the display of certain flags and should adopt policies regarding the display of any non-conforming flags.

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