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'We won, but we lost' | Air Force veteran still in fight with HOA over right to fly American flag

After spending tens of thousands of dollars and being forced to sell his home in the Sweetwater community, the court awarded Murphee a total of $1,223.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 12 years, an Air Force veteran learned of a disappointing judgement in a case against his former homeowner's association.

Air Force veteran Larry Murphree has since moved from the 55 and older community where his legal fight all began so many years ago.

"We won, but we lost," said Murphree.

After spending tens of thousands of dollars and being forced to sell his home in the Sweetwater community, the court awarded Murphee a total of $1,223.

"We have been to 200 hearings and where this figure came from I don't know," he said.

The veteran said he lost 12 years of his life, but it was worth fighting for the small flag he displayed outside his home.

"The flag never loses, I would do it again yes," said Murphree. "But I would think a fair settlement would be involved." 

This fight began when Murphree decided to place a 17-inch American flag in a flower pot near his front door. He said he had just watched soldiers return home in flag draped coffins and wanted to show his support.

The HOA that operated at Sweetwater at the time cited him, but instead of removing the flag, he kept it flying. The fines started piling up and the legal fight ensued.

"Right now they're trying to seek attorney fees for this from Mr. Murhpree and from myself," said Attorney Gust Sarris.

Sarris has handled Murphree's defense and counter lawsuits from day one.

"You are always disappointment when you think you have won something when in reality it is a loss," said Sarris.

They plan to appeal, in other words they say the fight is not over.

Murphree has created a Go Fund Me to help in the fight. It is called The Flag Vet.

"We are going to appeal because we just don't understand this award, and I am not going to lose a second home over this fight," said Murphree.