American Flag Upside Down

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by EmailPoster, Jun 6, 2006.

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  1. EmailPoster

    EmailPoster New Member

    Is it true that flying the american flag upside down is a type of...
  2. ArmyWife

    ArmyWife Guest

    Flying the American flag upside down is indeed a type of SOS signal. Section 8a of the United States 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."
  3. ArmyWife

    ArmyWife Guest

    According to Section 8a of the United States Flag Code, "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."
  4. jproffitt10

    jproffitt10 Guest

    Ms. Hall,

    Flying the American flag upside down is traditionally considered a sign of distress, as it is with all national flags. The signal is one that was used primarily in past centuries (pre-1900s), on the high seas by military and merchant marine vessels alike. While the U.S. Flag Code does permit flying the flag with the union down, it specifies only " a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

    In recent times some have interpreted this in a much broader manner and have come to use it as a political statement, instead of a true S.O.S., which it was originally intended for.
  5. Lucy

    Lucy New Member

    Yes. According to the US Flag Code, the US flag should only be flown upside down as a signal of distress when there is an extreme danger to life or property.

  6. Dibbis

    Dibbis New Member

    I believe starting today, November 5th. 2008, we can deem flying the flag upside down is most appropriate. A Nation in distress indeed with eminent danger to life and property!
  7. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

    I got to say the first thing I did was post the flag at my house today at 6:30 AM EST. I am a Vietnam, Cold War, and Peace time, Disabled American Veteran. When I posted my flag today the strips were on the top, we are in trouble. God Help the US
  8. BOBFREY250

    BOBFREY250 New Member

    Re: American Flag Upside Down ala Obama

    As a Proud American, and a Proud Vietnam Veteran, I was so pleased to see Senator Mc Cain campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America. However I would characterize my dilligent and persistant e-mail voter campaign as one that was AGAINST Hussein Obama, mainly on the grounds that he must be a foreigner and not entitled to serve by PROOF of his lack of respect for MY FLAG. How could anyone grow up in America and not understand our respect and love of "Old Glory"? The FLAG my buddies died for in The Republic of South Vietnam. The one under which my Uncles stormed Normandy's beaches. The one our fine young Americans serve under in the deserts of Iraq, and the mountains of Afghanistan.

    In disgust and in PROTEST (I never got to protest before, I was too busy dealing with "Charlie" in the Southeast Asia War Games at the time [BTW we finished 2nd] ), I went out to my flag pole and turned my U. S. Flag UPSIDE DOWN!! A legal act and an act that no doubt, is being repeated across this nation today, November 5, 2008, the first day of the countdown to the end of this republic. I am aware that a person has the legal constitutional right even to burn the flag (I really wish they wouldn't in MY presence).

    My flag flies in the center of a 5 foot square, 3 foot high marble and granite memorial which I built myself with my two hands and my own personal money, on my private property. I am awakened (after 2 days of no sleep making e-mailings against Obama) by my door bell only to find a man taking my flag down. He claimed to be a 23 year Navy Veteran and was righting my wrong, claiming I don't have the right, ( A VIETNAM VETERAN HAS NO RIGHT TO PROTEST???). A Navy veteran? Doesn't know or understand the legality? The symbolism? Claims he thought some vandals may have committed the act. Regardless who committed the act, climbing onto my monument on my property exposes me to liabilities if he had fallen or some how was injured or killed. In his anger. he snapped off the cleat for tying off the lanyard, so I will have to go to Home Depot and replace it. This is my third 20 foot aluminum flag pole. A drunk attempted to climb the first one. The second one was destroyed by vandals, now this. My life was so much simpler before I had a flag on my property.

    The moral(s) of the story should be:



    I suppose I'll have to erect a sign warning against attempting to deprive me of my right to free speech and expression. As this man said to me, "respect the flag, two wrongs don't make a right", to which I must add, "three wrongs ain't no righter". There are many things in this world I don't like, but I invoke the "Serenity Prayer" : "GOD GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO CHANGE WHAT I CAN, THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THINGS I CAN'T AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE", because when it's another man's property there is a difference.

    By The Way, He left still sure of his righteousness and sure that I have no right to do what I did. He WILL SEE THIS!
  9. alvette

    alvette New Member

    I just joined the forum and starting tomorrow our flag will be flow in distress.
  10. Hey guys and gals

    Please dont be too quick to fly your flags upside down!

    For one thing , its still over 2 months before he is inagurated (sorry if i misspelled that)
    For another - we should keep the American flag flying high and proud

    My flags are hung on the wall, the right way up, just like they were before the election.

    I feel utterly disgusted that more than half the American public have elected a man into the Whitehouse that has shown in multiple ways that he is not loyal to America - one of which is his refusal to show outward patriotism by accepting the flag.
    I dont know at all what will happen to the USA as this man sits down behind the desk at the Oval Office- but one things for sure.. he will not stop me flying and waving my flag.
    I have loved the USA all my life.. and I love it as if it was my own. I will always fly the US flag (still working on getting an outdoor attachment for which to fly my US flag outdoors) and I will always fly it the right way up no matter what happens.

    As a note to posters of this thread and forum...
    I am aware that tensions are running high at the moment thanks to the election.
    Usually we do not allow election /political related comment to show- because it is usually a recipe for disaster- but at this time I do believe that the comments being made are appropriate in order to give explanation or reason for wanting to fly the flag upside down or not.
    this thread is currently still more focused on the flag- as it should be - its a flag forum.

    Please do not let this thread turn into a heated political debate or argument. To prevent that from happening all posts to this thread will be monitored by me.

  11. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

    If history serves as a warning, the soon to be party in power will make the military ineffective; Defense cuts will kill our military strength, as recent as Carter and Clinton. I served under Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan, personally just getting started earlier this time putting up the distress signal. No one has bothered me yet.

    In Ohio trespassing signage is not need.

    Check out this link
    Obama 'credential' criticized for upside-down flag
    Obamas people allready started the practice with tickets to his events during the election.
  12. Flaguser

    Flaguser New Member

    So, let me get this straight. If Obama accidentally shows the flag upside down, he's a traitor, but when you do it on purpose, you are patriotic?
  13. That is actually a very good question/ point you raise there Flaguser!!

    I have been doing some more thinking about this and have come up with an more in depth answer to the people were are going to fly their flags upside down as a direct protest to the election results.
    heres what i've come up with

    Ok- here is a site you might like to read for information on distress signals 1st of all

    Warning Signals

    This is specifically for the engisns at sea.- which is what the distress signal was invented for - for use at sea- for example - when your boat is sinking - or theres a fire, or somebody on board has got severely ill. etc etc

    flag code
    Section 8a. "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

    Some examples of extreme danger to life or property - that would grant you turning your flag upside down-

    Your house is on fire
    Somebody within the house has been attacked,or has become very ill- and your waiting for the ambulance - the flag could be then used as a signal to the ambulance to say they are at the right house.

    Now here we are talking about flying the flag upside down as a means of protest. - this is NOT covered in the flag code - and should not be considered
    you dont KNOW for a FACT that Obama is terrable- because he is not in office yet, and hes not DONE anything.

    There is other things you could do to show your displeasure at the results of the election

    You could for example have a flag made/ make one saying NObama- and fly that underneath the RIGHT WAY UP US flag, alternatavely have a sign in your window saying such- or something of that nature.

    I myself have a NObama sign in my window, and my flags are hung the correct way up.
  14. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Electing a president is an emotional process, and it's natural that supporters of the losing candidate get upset and angry. When the Republicans win, Democrats rant and rave about moving to Canada; when the Democrats win, the Republicans carry on about socialism. It always happens.

    Instead of getting into cat fights, perhaps we should step back a moment. Senator Obama won the election on Tuesday because a substantial plurality of the American people thought that he was the best candidate. He will become the 44th president on January 20th via a peaceful transfer of power, as has every president since George Washington. We take those things for granted, but one only has to look around the world to realize that they are not "givens." It seems amazing that three hundred million diverse people, with all kinds of conflicting beliefs and interests, can live together in a free, self-governing democratic system -- but we are doing it. That is what our flag stands for, and it is something that we can all be proud of, whatever our political leanings.

    In his concession speech on Wednesday, John McCain said:

    "I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating [Senator Obama], but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited. Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that."

    I think that Senator McCain said it exactly right. We are fellow Americans, and we should not let our differences overwhelm our devotion to our nation's ideals, and our respect for its flag.

    Peter Ansoff
  15. Blair Adams White

    Blair Adams White New Member

    It amazes me that some people writing here are claiming to be veterans of the Armed Services of the United States and bear no loyalty to the Commander in Chief, let alone understanding flag etiquette. Boy, the Navy made that little bit of stuff very clear to me.

    About some of the blog-stuff:

    “Hussein Obama must be a foreigner.â€
    Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. was born in Hawaii (one of the United States) in August of 1961. You know about Hawaii?

    John Sidney McCain III was born in the Panama Canal Zone (not one of the United States) in August of 1936. Good thing his parents were American citizens or I guess John would have been a foreigner in your mind. No heat on Senator John McCain from me – a great American Hero and statesman and most probably would have been a fine president. You might want to ask Senator McCain if he would ever turn his flag upside down because he was angry.

    “(Barack Obama). . not entitled to serve by PROOF of his lack of respect for MY FLAG.â€
    Your flag? Sorry, but you have to share the flag with the rest of us Americans. We swear allegiance to the flag, too. That, of course, also applies to American-born citizen, Barack Hussein Obama who wears a flag pin on his left lapel – over his American-born heart.

    “Hussein†by definition:
    An Arabic name meaning "good" or "handsome".

    Looks as though your last name is Frey; if so, it is derived from French or German.
    Your first name could be Robert; a name derived from old German and old French.
    You probably are a good American anyway.

    “The one (flag) under which my Uncles stormed Normandy's beaches.â€
    Obama’s grandfather fought in Patton’s Army–and his great uncle in the 89th Infantry.

    *(actually that is spelled “etiquetteâ€)
    Turning the flag upside down was never meant for making political statements. You might want to look up “flag etiquetteâ€. Even so, your statement is true – it is just that it applies to only you.

    Right on!! Now go to a mirror and recite that out loud.

    . . and Justice for All.
    And those principles are afforded to EVERY AMERICAN, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, or any other criteria*. Just as our flag represents 50 individual states that can not be divided or separated, this Nation represents hundreds of millions of people who can not be separated or divided.

    *Even if you don’t like their name.

    Lastly, to the good American that made this statement:
    “If history serves as a warning, the soon to be party in power will make the military ineffective.â€
    Do you mean the Democratic Party as in Woodrow Wilson (WWI), FranklinDelano Roosevelt (WWII), Harry Truman (WWII and Korea), John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson (Vietnam)?

    I voted for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. I fly the American flag right side up and I am happy and proud to pledge allegiance to it. Assuredly, I will never degrade what our flag stands for by using it as a political statement.
  16. Dibbis

    Dibbis New Member

    "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".
    Trust me...I feel terrible that my flag is inverted because it reminds me of how bad the situation is every time I see it, however, in my heart I believe this is exactly why it needs to remain that way, and based on the pledge above, all the more.
    It stood for the republic which America no longer is. A democracy is quite different and is what it has become. Such a society will allow the people to destroy it through pure greed and desire, or allow it to be led astray by the promises of a charismatic leader since a democracy doesn't have the bounds of a Republic. God has been taken out of every aspect possible eliminating the very foundation on which the nation was created. As a Republic it was indivisible but as a democracy with the checks and balances out of the picture it has been divided. Liberties are being stripped away every minute through executive orders and directly unconstitutional actions by our leaders. And justice is removed from our system. Those who deserve justice are turned loose on the streets over and over again to kill the innocent while those who defend themselves pay dearly. Look no further than our wrongly imprisoned border patrol for just one example. Sorry, if you can't translate that which is going on around us into a nation in extreme danger and risk of being obliterated I feel very sorry for you. If your home was under attack, the windows were being broken out, the doors were being busted down, your loved ones were being drug away, would you then contemplate that perhaps we just need to work together with the attackers?
  17. carcrazy7

    carcrazy7 New Member

    hello , i am new here and did read on another reply about keeping civil and will try to follow their wishes. i have been reading this about the flag being flown upside down and have seen two different ideals. one being as a political statement and another for the shape this country is in. i too am not a supporter of obama being i'm from illinois and know of what obama has not done and his lack of experience. but what does trouble me is , when he stood at the playing of the anthem he failed to put his hand over his heart.. said he didnt know , his wifes comments of "now i'm proud to be American" ... well i could go on. it wont. i think i'm making my point.

    that said , i understand that turning the flag up side down is a distress signal affect life a property. with all that has happened both from 9/11 , and economy wouldn't it be appropriate ? after listening to obama make comments about illegals , foreign people etc.. doesn't his ideas suggest even more possible threats. it would seem to me that with all the military life lost over the many years , we are still heading toward self destruction. obama's plans are in my views "solicalistic" !

    i am not a war veteran or have even served in the military , but i do support our troops and their causes now and back in the years too. taking the way our country is financially and after 9/11 i do see us at threat and even more so with obamas speeches , theorys and ideals. we are in big trouble and even bigger problems with life and property in the future. our country is and has failing it's people and traditions .

    i have to say this , i think we need to express the shape we are in and that would classify this as a state of distress of life and property . our government is the problem and this should be a call to arms. i feel compelled to join the signal of distress and fly my flag accordingly .
  18. Scotag

    Scotag New Member


    while I agree he should not have damaged your flagpole, you really have no room to complain about him coming to your door. Obama was elected president. How does this currently constitute an extreme danger to life or property? The fact is, it doesn't. Its simply a political statement. It is your right to express you political views in this way, but don't go toting the flag code around saying that you are abiding by it. You are not in any immediate danger.


    Your post is laughable. What you have described is the state of the united states(granted its a little melodramatic) currently. This sort of things have been happening for quite some time during both Republican and Democratic presidencies. Again, flying the flag upside down for the reasons given is a political statement. You are not in any sort of immediate danger.

    hope that clears things up for you.
  19. real-ameruhcan

    real-ameruhcan New Member

    Thank you moderator for clarifying the posting rules. For a minute there it sounded like a stereotypical brown-shirt "Where's the pipe bomb plans?" forum.
  20. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Thank you moderator for clarifying the posting rules.

    Hello, Real-Am -- welcome aboard!

    Thanks for the encouragement. As you can see from previous posts, we try to strike a balance here. Patriotism and the US flag are subjects that many people have strong opinions about, and we encourage debate and discussion. Unfortunately, these subjects also attract folks who equate patriotism with right-wing politics, religious fundamentalism and not-too-subtle racism. The latter also tend to be abusive and intolerant of those who disagree with them. Our position is that there are plenty of other places on the internet where those sorts of people can air their views, and that they don't belong in this forum. Most of the comments we've received are favorable, so I guess we're doing a reasonably good job of making the distinction.


    Peter Ansoff
    Forum Admin
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