What Does This Upside Down American Flag Mean?
If you travel on Rimrock Road, you may have noticed an American flag flying upside down on someone's residence, and I'm assuming that wasn't done by accident.
And without stopping to ask why they're displaying Old Glory in that way, I'll never know for sure, but here is what I found from the U.S. National Flag Code that may reveal the reason.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Flag Code was distributed nationwide in 1923, but the code didn't become Public Law until 1942. The code gives proper ways to "display and respect the flag of the United States."
Here are some of the "Do's and Don'ts for Displaying Old Glory," according to the Defense Department:
- The flag should not be on display outdoors during bad weather.
- The flag should not be used for advertising purposes, or embroidered on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or boxes.
- The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.
- The flag should never touch anything beneath it; this includes water, merchandise and even the floor.
When it comes to having the American flag displayed upside down, according to section 8 of the U.S. Flag Code, 'Respect for flag' states the following:
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.
If the resident off Rimrock Road isn't flying their flag upside down because their life or property is in danger, it could be a sign of protest against President Biden.
According to a 2017 opinion article in the Seattle Times, a humanities teacher said that he was flying his American flag upside down in protest of President Trump, after he was questioned on his motives.
Earlier this week, several homeowners in a neighborhood near Tampa, Florida have been reportedly flying their flags upside down "in response to the results of the presidential election being certified for President-elect Joe Biden," according to the story from Bay News 9.
According to the New Times San Luis Obispo, American flags were being displayed upside down on homes during the George Floyd protests in California, which drew criticism from residents.
According to Getty Images, an American flag was flown upside down outside a church in Chicago in protest of "homicides" in the city back in 2016.
Collins Flags sells American flags through their website, and according to their interpretation of the United States Flag Code, flying a flag upside down should not be taken lightly. "These instances do not include moments of personal dissatisfaction or times of protest. While it is legal to express yourself in whatever way you so chose, it is illegal to fly an American flag upside down unless you are in a life or death situation."
When I saw the U.S. flag flying upside down today, it made me think of a movie I hadn't seen for 20 years. "The Last Castle" starring Robert Redford and James Gandolfini.
If you haven't watched it yet, rent it this weekend and you'll see the connection.
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