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My neighbors across the street have had their flag hanging on the vertical porch post in an upside down position. It has been that way for several days, and people ...
  1. #1
    sh_ma_yisrael is offline Junior Member
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    Default displaying flag upside down

    My neighbors across the street have had their flag hanging on the vertical porch post in an upside down position. It has been that way for several days, and people are coming and going routinely, so it is not a distress signal. I want to approach them first and simply ask them to fix it, but am not sure exactly what to say. By what authority would I do that? What are the consequences for their action and who would enforce it? Who would I call if they choose not to fix it?

  2. #2
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    I'm afraid that the only thing that you can try in this situation is friendly persuasion. There is no enforceable law dealing with display of the US flag.

    Since the last presidental election, many people are displaying US flags upside down as a form of political protest, to express their disatisfaction with the state of the nation. This is quite ironic, because most of the people doing this are political conservatives, who are generally the most vocal supporters of flag anti-desecration laws. Apparently, they feel that it's OK to dishonor the flag to express their point-of-view, but not for others to do so.

    Best regards,

    Peter Ansoff

  3. #3
    sh_ma_yisrael is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Okay. Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    Robin Hickman is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Greetings, sh_ma_yisrael !

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site forums !


    In your original post, you wrote :

    "My neighbors across the street have had their flag hanging on the vertical porch post in an upside down position. It has been that way for several days, and people are coming and going routinely, so it is not a distress signal. I want to approach them first and simply ask them to fix it, but am not sure exactly what to say. By what authority would I do that? What are the consequences for their action and who would enforce it? Who would I call if they choose not to fix it?"


    To automatically "assume" that they are flying their flag upside-down as a form of "political" protest, might not be the best thing to do. How would anybody "know" unless they told them?

    My suggestion would be instead of asking them to "fix" it, to simply ask them WHY their Flag is flying upside-down. Maybe somebody switched it around as a joke (prank), or something? Maybe they haven't noticed that it's upside-down?

    While it could actually be some sort of "political" protest on their part, you won't really know until you ASK them to find out. Same goes with the possibilty of it being a prank.

    Go ASK them !

    Robin Hickman

    PS. IF it does turn out that it IS some kind of "political" protest on their part, Peter is right: there really isn't very much that you or anybody else can do about it.
    "All That Is Needed For Evil To Triumph Is For Good People To Stand By And Do Nothing"

  5. #5
    wishicouldstartover is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Many people do not realize that flying the flag upside down is to show that our nation is in peril. Under the circumstances, I think that more people should be flying our flag in the upside down position.

    May God save the U.S.A

  6. #6
    Peter Ansoff is offline USA Flag Site Admin
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Many people do not realize that flying the flag upside down is to show that our nation is in peril.

    As Justice Holmes said in the quote down there at the bottom of this post, the meaning of a symbol depends in part on who is looking at it. If you fly your US flag upside down, some people will interpret it as a political statement about government policies, while others will see it as an insult to our country's most important national symbol.

    This duality is not new. The flag-burning demonstrators back in the 1960s and 70s attracted lots of attention to their cause, but much of it was negative. My impression is that current opponents of government policies have belatedly realized this, and found other symbolic ways to express their views.

    Peter Ansoff
    "We live by symbols, and what shall be symbolized by any image of the sight depends upon the mind of him who sees it."
    -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

  7. #7
    epsolon77 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: displaying flag upside down

    Quote Originally Posted by wishicouldstartover View Post
    Many people do not realize that flying the flag upside down is to show that our nation is in peril. Under the circumstances, I think that more people should be flying our flag in the upside down position.

    May God save the U.S.A
    I defend your right to free speech, even if disrespecting our country and flag is a part of that free speech.

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