The flag sure is a topic of discussion in the country. The purpose of today is not to take a side on whether or not NFL players should sit or stand. Although I’m sure you guys know where I stand on that issue.
I go to so many of your meetings. Some of them are in Board rooms and some of them are in large auditoriums. For the ones that are held in auditoriums I almost always see the American Flag displayed. Not only that……. so many of you start your Board meetings with the pledge of allegiance, even though there is no requirement that you have to. I for one, love seeing it and hearing it.
My question to all of you is……. if the display of the flag is not required at your Board meetings and the pledge of allegiance is also not required, why do you do it? Something inside you obviously believes it’s the right thing to do, or you wouldn’t do it. So tell me what is that something.
Florida law only requires the American Flag to be displayed in a publicly supported auditorium and provides as follows:
Florida Statute 256.111: Each publicly supported and controlled auditorium within a separate building shall display daily the flag of the United States upon a suitable flagstaff upon the grounds of the auditorium except when the weather does not permit such display, and each publicly supported and controlled auditorium within a part of a building shall display daily the flag of the United States inside of the auditorium whenever the auditorium is open.
(2) It is the duty of the person responsible for the administration of such auditorium to provide a suitable flag and cause it to be displayed in the manner provided in subsection (1). If any person willfully causes the flag to fail to be so displayed, except for the cleaning, repair, or replacement of such flag, such person is guilty of a noncriminal violation, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
In case you’re wondering, Florida also still mandates that the school day starts with the pledge of allegiance.
Florida Statute 1003.44 states: (1) Each district school board may adopt rules to require, in all of the schools of the district, programs of a patriotic nature to encourage greater respect for the government of the United States and its national anthem and flag, subject always to other existing pertinent laws of the United States or of the state. When the national anthem is played, students and all civilians shall stand at attention, men removing the headdress, except when such headdress is worn for religious purposes. The pledge of allegiance to the flag, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” shall be rendered by students standing with the right hand over the heart. The pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be recited at the beginning of the day in each public elementary, middle, and high school in the state. Each student shall be informed by a written notice published in the student handbook or a similar publication pursuant to s. 1006.07(2) that the student has the right not to participate in reciting the pledge. Upon written request by his or her parent, the student must be excused from reciting the pledge, including standing and placing the right hand over his or her heart. When the pledge is given, unexcused students must show full respect to the flag by standing at attention, men removing the headdress, except when such headdress is worn for religious purposes,
So, Florida law doesn’t require a flag to be displayed at your private board meetings at your association. It only requires the flag at public meetings. Florida law only requires students to say the pledge of allegiance, not unit owners and Board members who attend a Board meeting in your community. But you’re doing it anyway. It’s on your agendas and meeting notices. Why?