tampabay.com

Condo rule waived so U.S. flag can wave

By MICHAEL A. MOHAMMED
Published May 30, 2007


TAMPA - Although his condo complex has strict rules against decorations, Brendan Davis figured he could put up a small American flag outside his unit door.

After all, who would object to a flag on Memorial Day?

Apparently, a condominium security guard.

Albert Gonzalez, a guard at the ParkCrest Harbour Island condominiums, found the small flag stuck in a light fixture and warned, then later fined, Davis for violating the rules.

"This is America, we are at war, and it is Memorial Day, " Davis wrote in an e-mail to Bay News 9. "What is going on?"

The security guard didn't know that Florida statutes guarantee residents the right to display an American flag, said ParkCrest Harbour Island Condominium Association president Jim Pyburn. "That was a misunderstanding, and we apologize for that, " Pyburn said, adding that he canceled the $35 fine.

He added that Gonzalez, a 17-year Army veteran, said he thought the flag could have been a fire hazard.

Information from Times files contributed to this report.