A Mount Warrigal widow who was threatened by Shellharbour City Council with a $1 million fine if the flagpole in her backyard was not removed has been given permission to keep the pole.
Enid Robinson, 77, moved into her new home in May and had her late husband Eddie's beloved flagpole erected in August for what would have been his 80th birthday.
The couple were happily married for 57 years.
The flagpole, which flies the Australian flag, had been in place at two previous homes in the Shellharbour area over a 10-year period and had never been a problem before.
Acting on a complaint in August, council officers told Mrs Robinson the maximum height allowed for a flagpole in a suburban area was six metres and hers was estimated at nine metres.
She then received a letter that said the council was proposing to make an order requiring the flagpole's removal and failure to comply would incur a penalty of up to $1.1 million and a further daily penalty of $110,000.
Mrs Robinson was told to lodge a development application, but when she inquired with the council they could not tell her what type of application to lodge.
Now, after Mrs Robinson's plight gained nationwide publicity, Shellharbour City Council has issued her with a building certificate allowing her to keep the flagpole in place, despite the pole being well above the six-metre limit.
"The certificate was issued on the basis that an engineer's certificate ... confirmed that the flagpole was structurally adequate," a Shellharbour Council spokeswoman said.
"As a consequence of the issue of the certificate council will take no further action in this matter and allow the flagpole to remain.
"Council was obligated to investigate the flagpole because of its size and proximity to the boundary fence."
The pole is 50 centimetres closer to her boundary than allowed and was found to be just under eight metres above the ground.
Mrs Robinson said she felt she had "a win" even though it had cost her many sleepless nights and left her $750 out of pocket.
"They said to me basically they would be happy if I made application to prove everything was sound," she said. "It cost me $500 for the engineer - he said he gave me a discount - and it cost me $250 in fees to the council.
"I wasn't greatly happy paying that much, but it is peace of mind and in my thoughts I still have my late husband's flagpole and people have to accept that.
"It was a very draining process, I was stressed out and had no sleep at night, I didn't think it would be like that.
"I think now it was because how much the the flagpole has sentimental value for me and I didn't want to lose it.
"I do feel I have had a win ... I have still got something I really appreciate."
However, Mrs Robinson fears the publicity her ordeal has generated may have consequences for others.
The council spokeswoman confirmed two more complaints regarding flagpoles were being investigated.