Wisconsin: Police State

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090710/ap_on_re_us/us_upside_down_flag

This is the story of an Iraq War veteran who returned home and spent $200,000 building a restaurant in a small town north of Green Bay.

The problem:  for some unknown reason, he was denied a liquor license.  Since then, to signal his distress, he has flown the American flag upside down.  He is concerned about bankruptcy.

On July 4, the local police went to his flag pole, and took the flag down, returning it to him the next day.  The police told upset neighbors to stay out of this.  They claimed they were acting on the behest of the town’s attorney to avoid a disruption which may have occurred during the soon to occur Independence Day parade.

Now, usually, the upside American flag is used to symbolize protest for big political actions … I’m not sure being denied a liquor license qualifies, but I know enough that it is not up to me to make that decision.  I also know that it is absolutely not the decision of the town’s attorney or the police to act this way.

I don’t like seeing national symbols desecrated, but this is yet another example of weighing what is important:  is it more important that a small disruption, and hurt feelings be avoided, or that the constitution be upheld.  This man volunteered to join the military and serve his nation.  I would say he knows how bad it is to desecrate a national symbol like the flag.  However, trampling the constitution is an even bigger problem.  Ultimately, veterans do not serve the president or the flag, but to defend the constitution.

This has always been a hallmark of the United States:  political protesters have rights.  They have a right to turn the flag upside down, yell at the president while he drives down the street, etc.  Those rights don’t exist in many other nations.

I am not a registered voter.  I give up that right for a number of reasons, one of which is a protest over a few issues …  I have that right.  I know there are people who cringe at that … just as I might cringe at someone disrespecting the flag.

It worries me that there are more and more people who seem to think that the constitution is more and more up for personal or local interpretation.

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2 Responses to Wisconsin: Police State

  1. Alan P says:

    Actually, I remember learning that an American flag flown upside down is a signal of distress – that there is a need for help from emergency services. Not a sign of protest.

    • teganx7 says:

      You are correct … especially on the high seas I think it is still recognized as such. However, at least since the 1960s, it has been used to signal “distress” at a current political situation … that is a sign of protest.

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