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Poll: Responders mixed on upside down flag

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Recently, a local resident hung his flag upside down.

The intent, according to the resident, was to show how the country was facing peril. An upside down flag on a ship is the international sign of distress.

The Brazil Times asked its online readers recently if they agreed with the resident's decision.

Of the 312 respondents that participated in the poll, a total of 172 (55.1 percent) said they believed the country was in peril, while 140 (44.9 percent) did not agree.

A total of 15 respondents also commented on the poll question.

One said, "While perhaps this is written somewhere, I believe that flying the flag any way other than the way it was intended or at half mast is disrespectful," while another respondent said, "This is the same flag our troops are fighting for. There are many other ways for getting your point across or making a statement. We all know the country is in a crisis. Fly your flags high and proud and let's give our newly elected officials a chance to turn this thing around. Thank you."

Another said, "Yes, we are struggling, but we are not close to being in peril yet. Peril will be reached when we give up trying and the American spirit has always been perseverance through the hard times," while another stated, "I agree the country is in peril. However, that is no reason to disrespect the flag. Think about those men and women who are fighting for that flag. Americans have been through tough times before and will probably be through tough times again, but that is no reason to start disrespecting our country's flag."

There are only three days remaining in 2008.

The Times is currently asking its readers if they believe 2009 will be a better year than 2008. Responders have options of yes and no to choose from in the poll.

As always, responders have the option to comment on the poll question.

Mixed results


Recently, a local resident hung his flag upside down as a sign that the country was in peril. Do you agree?


* Yes -- 172 votes (55.1 percent), and

* No -- 140 votes (44.9 percent)

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From the American Legion website:

The Flag Code states, "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

It is an unreasonable stretch to argue that the political purposes constitute "dire distress." We recommend that people who wish to express their political views find a way to do so that is respectful of the flag. Remember that to some the flag represents the government of the US and its policies; but it also represents the promise as yet unfulfilled of the Declaration, it represents our freedom of speech, our freedom to practice or not practice religion as we choose, it represents American values, it represents one nation in its glory, it represents hope for a better future, and importantly it represents the sacrifices made in all generations to protect our freedoms.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Dec 28, 2008, at 6:42 PM

If he was doing this to draw attention to the state of the Union.... he got things stirred.

-- Posted by sassypants on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 9:49 AM

He was expressing his freedom of speech, plain and simple. He has that right and I agree with him.

-- Posted by jessdixon on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 10:52 AM

Correction: The citation in Lee Thall's comment is from ushistory.org and not the American Legion.

-- Posted by DougH on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 11:14 AM

Yep it was, read a cpl websites and quoted the wrong one. Now I have to go to bed without dinner.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Dec 29, 2008, at 3:43 PM

I apologize for stepping up on the soapbox now, but after reading some of these posts I feel I have to:

No one wants to see the United States Flag turned upside down. No one wants to believe there is a reason to do such a "dastardly deed." In theory, and in an ideal world -- which so many would like to believe we live in, this would be true. And, most of the time, it is true. Although our lives are not necessarily what we want them to be, we are allowed the freedom of choice to strive toward our goals. There aren't many citizens in other countries around the world that can claim that freedom.

The United States Constitution preamble states: "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

It appears the founding fathers went to great pains to ensure, and it is clear to many historians, that the Constitution was created to form a government with the sole purpose to serve the citizens of the United States, and for no other purpose.

Through the separation and creating a balance of power that would not allow any one of the three branches of "our" government to gain enough power to dominate and become a force that rules over the people rather than serving their best interests, we are supposed to have a government for all our people.

But there are times when the government's interests are not representative of the best interests of its people. Does the government's planned bailout of select industries and groups, instead of holding them accountable like the "we, the people" are, in yours or my best interest? Take a moment to think personally what it means for each of us that it is "our" tax dollars bailing someone else out? I personally would like to have my tax dollars back to help my own family or my neighbors.

The founding fathers of this nation knew, although I believe they hoped this county would never be in "dire straights" again, that one day the people of this country might have to step up and reassert their will -- their supremacy --and overrule a corrupt government and return this country to its original intention A government for the people, and by the people.

Are we there yet? I don't know. But, I do know that the government isn't always doing what is right for its people.

Although we might not like the idea of flying our flag upside down in protest, as American citizens, there are times when people have to take drastic actions to open a few eyes so that the true dirty picture of what is happening can be seen clearly.

With my apologies for not being brief, I now turn the soapbox over to the next person to exert their freedom of speech.

-- Posted by Cy on Tue, Dec 30, 2008, at 12:44 PM

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