I’m very big on proper etiquette concerning the United States flag. When I was in school we were all taught proper flag etiquette. We were taught to never let the flag touch the ground, how to properly raise and lower the flag, when the flag is allowed to fly half-staff, how to fold the flag and how to properly dispose of a damaged flag. We were taught that no other flag flies higher than the American flag and if the flag is flown at night it must be lit up. We were also taught that to fly the American flag upside down was a sign of distress especially during times of war.
My dad always flew the American flag proudly. He was in the U.S. Navy for six years that spanned all of World War II. Even though he was an enlisted man, the captain of his ship presented him with the ship’s flag that flew at the battles of Bougainville and Saipan, when the ship was mothballed after the end of the war. He flew this 48 star flag for years until it started to tear. He always said he was proud to fly that flag that he served under rather than flying the cheap nylon colored flags sold in stores today. I now have this flag properly folded and mounted in a display case and it is one of my prize possessions.
So I understand the pride and meaning that people have when they fly the American flag for all the right reasons. That’s why the story of Philip Hoezel caught my attention.
Hoezel served 7 ½ years in the United States Navy and is proud of his country. But after last week’s elections his heart was saddened as he saw his country in deep distress. So starting the day after the election, Philip began flying his American flag upside down at his home on Fleming Island, Florida. He said he plans to continue to fly the flag upside as a sign of America’s distress every day for the next four years.
Commenting on why he flew the flag upside down, Hoezel said:
“I figure if they can burn the flag, if they can spit on it, if they can put it down as a doormat, why can’t I fly it upside down? Under the conditions normally set for the military at sea if you fly your flag upside down on a ship, it means you’re in distress… I think this country is in distress.”
Veteran’s Day was this week and it was also the fifth day of Hoezel’s protest. However Hoezel’s neighbors were quite upset with his protest display and felt it was dishonoring to veteran’s and the national holiday.
Mike Walter, a 26 year Navy veteran, is a neighbor of Hoezel and he was not happy with the display and told reporters:
"It's very disturbing... you know 26 years in the Navy, current Navy guy and I thought it was an accident. Then I did a little research and I realized people are doing this in protest and I just can't believe that on Veteran’s Day you would be so petty as to fly your flag upside down."
I whole heartedly agree with Hoezel that America is in distress and much of it is the fault of Barack Obama. I also agree that he has every right to fly his flag upside down as sign of the nation’s distress. I disagree with his neighbors who said that it should not have been done on Veteran’s Day. The only dishonor to our veteran’s I see is having an imposter in the White House who is purposely destroying our nation.
As said, my dad is a veteran of World War II and has been a lifelong Democrat. However, that’s not how he voted in this year’s election. His national pride and patriotism outweighed any loyalty to the Democratic Party. I’m going to send him this article and wouldn’t be surprised if he also started flying his flag upside as a sign of distress. In fact, I would love to see millions of American’s do the same thing.