Code Enforcement in the State of Florida: Flags, Signs, and Freedom of Expression Analytical Essay by Nicky

Code Enforcement in the State of Florida: Flags, Signs, and Freedom of Expression
A prominent discussion on zoning laws in Florida in relation to displaying flags and signs.
# 149176 | 1,862 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 28, 2011 in Law (Property) , Law (General)

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This paper provides a look and analysis of Florida zoning laws and ordinances. The essay focuses on a discussion of whether there is a possibility of these local laws being an infringement on personal freedoms. The writer argues that certain zoning requirements should be reevaluated in relation to the hanging of the American flag. Using specific examples and court cases, it concludes that communities should took a look at the purpose over the pragmatism of certain codes.

From the Paper:

"In violation of a local zoning ordinance, Orlando businesswoman Nancy Maddox displayed a 34 1/2 x 23 inch American flag in each of the fifteen windows of her home furnishings company. The display was clearly visible from the street, and offered a marked contrast to the appearance of other buildings in the area. Ms. Maddox was cited by Orlando municipal authorities. 1 Her case was taking by an organization called Liberty Counsel. The organization's Chief Counsel, Erik Stanley, believes the Orlando ordinance to contain procedure defects, and states also, that it is unconstitutional. 2 Many Americans would argue that displaying the flag is a matter of personal choice, a decision that reflects deeply-held feelings about their country, and is often a sign of respect for those who have served the United Sates in war and possibly even given their lives. Such displays of the flag are not intended for commercial purposes, nor are they intended as mere decoration. Still, the Orlando Code Enforcement Bureau chose to see this instance of the displaying the flag as falling under its regulations regarding the display of "business signs." Specifically, the owner of the home furnishings company was contacted on three different occasions by three different individuals representing the Orlando Code Enforcement Bureau. She was faxed the text of an ordinance that stated, "Large signs require permits to ensure they meet standards and will not become projectiles during high wind events such as afternoon thunderstorms and hurricanes." 3 Interesting in this case is the fact that the ordinance in question appears to apply specifically to issues of hurricane safety. How, one might ask, do flags displayed inside a window become dangerous projectiles during a violent storm?"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arbuckle, Mark R. "Vanishing First Amendment Protection for Symbolic Expression 35 Years after United States V. O'Brien." Communications and the Law 25.2 (2003): 1+.
  • Korn, Donald Jay. "Choosing a Home That Has Value: How to Make Sure You Profit from Life's Biggest Investment." Black Enterprise Aug. 2003: 65+.
  • Liberty Counsel. "Displaying the American Flag Comes Under Fire." Life, Liberty and Family. 8 Sept. 2005. URL:
  • Posner, Richard A. "Pragmatism versus Purposivism in First Amendment Analysis." Stanford Law Review 54.4 (2002): 737+.
  • Strom, Ron. "Orlando denies citation against Old Glory But woman's attorney insists she was told flags on business had to go." WorldNetDaily. 14 Sept. 2005. URL:

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Code Enforcement in the State of Florida: Flags, Signs, and Freedom of Expression (2011, November 28) Retrieved March 29, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Code Enforcement in the State of Florida: Flags, Signs, and Freedom of Expression" 28 November 2011. Web. 29 March. 2023. <>