I stumbled across an article from a man named Vincent G. Barnes. He has been a professor at Humanities Division at Shoreline Community College since 1988.
Barnes’ article was titled, “Why I fly the flag upside down.” Of course this caught my attention because I was genuinely curious in what someone who could be so disrespectful as to fly a flag upside down might have to say.
Here’s the thing…..absolutely none of his argument for the upside down flag held any water, whatsoever. He blamed his blatant act of disrespect on the fact that Trump is president. He said, “Who could be more disrespectful than President Donald Trump? He has disrespected an entire religion, women, immigrants, a neighboring country, our allies, civil servants, the intelligence community and the free press.”
First of all, Trump has not disrespected all these people like Barnes claims. Even if we were to humor him though and say that Trump did do all those things……how does disrespecting our American flag make any of that better?
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I could not stand Obama but I would not ever treat the American flag that way. It is a symbol of our freedom. I will not ever sell out my country, just because I do not like who is in charge.
ON a recent evening, a teenage boy knocked on the door to inform me that my American flag was flying upside down. His little brother, straddling his bike in the driveway, looked on as his big brother demonstrated what it means to have the courage of one’s convictions. I informed the young man that I had hung the flag upside down on purpose. He told me that he thought it was disrespectful and that he knew people who had died for this flag.
Oh, boy. Where to start? I stepped out onto the porch and said, “Do you want to talk about this?” He reiterated that it was disrespectful. I tried to establish some legitimacy to my gesture. “My family members have served in the military,” I said, assuming that his concern was a matter of patriotism and that my hanging the flag upside down was an attack on this country. Unfortunately, we did not get much further than that. The conversation ended after a few more words, as it was probably destined to, with his retreating from my porch, secure in his position and proud of his effort, and me going back inside, only too late thinking of what I should have said.First, I do respect the young man’s courage. What I wish I’d had the time and wherewithal to say was that an upside down flag is a symbol of distress. I do not mean any disrespect to this country and its institutions, to the flag, or to active military personnel or veterans. In fact, I love this country, warts and all. While I chose to serve in the U.S. Peace Corps, rather than the military like my father and brother, and having been a college teacher for close to 30 years, I do believe I have some credibility as an American. And that is precisely why I am registering my concern in a visible, visceral way.
Disrespectful? Who could be more disrespectful than President Donald Trump? He has disrespected an entire religion, women, immigrants, a neighboring country, our allies, civil servants, the intelligence community and the free press. He has disrespected the intelligence and the basic goodness of Americans by repeatedly lying right into the camera. By appointing completely unqualified people to head them, he has disrespected the hard work of government agencies to make this a stronger, safer country.
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