General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

What would you do if you noticed a United States flag hanging upside down at a business?

Asked by Aethelwine (42732points) February 2nd, 2018

A woman noticed a flag hanging upside down at a local BP gas station. She took pictures and posted them to Facebook. This is what she had to say: “My local gas station in West Peoria Immigration at its finest Flag upside down…I told them it was disrespectful or a sign of distress they laughed and said it was on purpose a protest against America….”

This was late at night. The same night of the SOTU. Many of her friends called the gas station to complain. I have an old high school friend who called and cussed out the employee. Several complaints were made to the press. This article was printed the day after the mishap: http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180131/us-flag-mistakenly-placed-upside-down-at-peoria-gas-station

This woman’s post has gone viral with almost 10,000 shares in two days. Most of the comments made on her post are racist. They call for deportation because he’s not white. People are calling the owner a towel head. There are many threats of arson and worse.

The owner says it was a mistake. The flag was fixed as soon as it was pointed out to them. The comment about an employee saying it was in protest is hearsay.

Mistake or not what is wrong with some of these people? This poor man could be in danger due to all of this anger from the right. He is a legal citizen, business owner and father.

yes, this is more of a rant than a question. sorry. I’m just thoroughly disgusted with what I’ve witnessed the past two days. It just takes one nutjob to do something stupid, especially when they feel they are justified.

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68 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Even if they did put up the flag that way intentionally the response validates it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I thought the flag upside down was considered a distress signal.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^It can be a way to protest. Even if we go with the “distress” aspect, do you not think America is in distress?

I rank it with kneeling during the anthem.

I wouldn’t care. I might have a higher opinion of the business owner.

I have discarded ALL of my American flags. I used to have three. Respect is earned. America is throwing it’s respect away. This, is a reaction…

Response moderated (Spam)
Call_Me_Jay's avatar

If it were just the flag, I would assume somebody was protesting and wouldn’t think again about it.

If there were signs ranting alongside the flag, I would think “that isn’t good for business.”

cookieman's avatar

Honestly? I’d think, “Hmmm, upside down flag.” And then say, “Can you fill it with regular please?”

I’d barely notice.

chyna's avatar

If I was already going in the business, I might mention it to the clerk. “Hey did you know your flag is upside down?” And no matter what their answer was, I would just go on and forget about it. Too many people want to make issues out of things that are just not an issue.

ragingloli's avatar

I would demand, in no uncertain terms, that they take that filth down immediately, because

NomoreY_A's avatar

I love my flag and my country, I hate people who disrespect both by trying to deny freedom of expression. That includes freedom to kneel during the anthem or fly the flag upside down. Shit, get off the pot, or get your nazi ass out of my country.

chyna's avatar

@NomoreY_A How do you know it wasn’t an accident?

KNOWITALL's avatar

For every action there’s a reaction. I wouldn’t shop there. Accident my ass. That would be down the same night in my town. All it would take is tears in one old vets eyes and hell would break loose.

johnpowell's avatar

@KNOWITALL :: What are your thoughts on this? (possibly NSFW)

I find that stuff way more flag-gross…

NomoreY_A's avatar

@chyna… If it was an accident all the more reason to decry the over reaction. Give them a chance to explain and let it go. Mistakes happen. If it was deliberate you still have no right to deny freedom of expression. You do have the right to express your displeasure by not shopping there. If you’re that upset by it then you can hurt them worse depriving them of your business than by ranting and raving.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JP She does it justice I suppose. Be great at a 4th parade.

johnpowell's avatar

So she has a nice body so totes cool she has a representation of the flag rubbing against her asshole. But burn the brown fucker with the upside down flag.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Actually I’m defending “the brown fucker” and his right of expression. That said, the girl in the flag bikini is hot..let her uh, express. ; )

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JP A bikini is not made from a real flag, not the same at all. You calling me a racist, John?

johnpowell's avatar

Define real flag? Does it need to be made in China to be a real American flag?

Darth_Algar's avatar

It would not bother me in the least.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JP Don’t deflect, I’ve seen enough of your posts to know better.
It’s really early for a heartfelt lecture, ya’ll know its waving a red flag, that’s why people do it. So don’t cry when there’s repercussions. Smh

imrainmaker's avatar

If that’s the reaction for flag being upside down what will be the reaction for burning the flag which is legal as per Supreme court judgement it is considered a form of symbolic speech. I’m not supporting the incidents in any way but just saying that reactions are too harsh.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Like punching out people in Trump hats? Goes both ways. Choices equal consequences, legal or not, right or wrong.

chyna's avatar

@NomoreY_A We are of the same mind on this then.

kritiper's avatar

Ignore it. Obviously, somebody is protesting.

Aethelwine's avatar

With the exception of fearing for his life and livelihood now due to overreaction his business has been busier thanks to the people defending him. Most of the people complaining didn’t even use his gas station to begin with, or they don’t even live here.

I stopped using BP after the oil spill but I’m going to make sure I use this one the next time I’m in town visiting family. Mistake or not he doesn’t deserve threats of arson or harm to his family.

Here’s a link to the profile with all the racist remarks and threats. Some threats may have been taken down because several of us are keeping an eye on it and reporting them. Scroll down a few pics to see the post.
https://www.facebook.com/heidi.rednour (if interested) Warning, it’s disgusting.

kritiper's avatar

Many years ago, I saw an upside down flag on a ELKS* lodge. I suppose there would be people nowdays who would want to kill the ELKS* for the “sin.”
(* “Benevolent and Protective Order of ELKS :.... a major benevolent and fraternal order.” -from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.)

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

That would be down the same night in my town. All it would take is tears in one old vets eyes and hell would break loose.

Sounds about right. Your community of Trumpanzees getting enraged by free speech and the presence of an immigrant and lashing out with vandalism and violence.

The flag is a piece of cloth. The idea that people “fight for the flag” is just something to motivate slow-witted dullards.

Because they don’t have the wherewithal to understand that institutions and the rule of law are what gives them freedom, not “the flag”.

thisismyusername's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay: “The idea that people “fight for the flag” is just something to motivate slow-witted dullards.”

Stop

ragingloli's avatar

__“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.“__

- Men in Black

KNOWITALL's avatar

So Hillary cosponsored in the article above. Guess it’s more than Trump lovers.

Aethelwine's avatar

The hypocrisy. There was no outcry when white Republicans hung their flag upside down during the Obama administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/us/politics/upside-down-flags-mark-conservative-anger-on-obama.html

Yellowdog's avatar

They DO have the right to protest, but I have no sympathy for the consequences. Mainly, lost business. Threats are okay as long as no violence takes place, because even the threats are free speech. But if it DOES take place, you were asking for it. Defiantly.

If you call a black person the N-word its hate speech. Insulting anyone, including hanging the flag upside down, is hate speech. It may or may not be protected, but don’t cry when there are consequences, including arson. It may be illegal and the law will be on your side if it reaches that far,, but it cannot save you in the heat of the moment.

I wouldn’t harm you myself but I’d do no more business with you, ever, and encourage others not to. I respect the law, but you have no sympathy if someone oversteps or overreaches it.

ragingloli's avatar

so what you are saying is:
If trump gets killed by a latino because he called mexicans rapists, he was asking for it and it is his own fault.

Yellowdog's avatar

Are you saying there are no Mexican rapists coming over the border?

Are there no Somalian rapists in Sweden?

Was Trump saying Mexicans are rapists? Was Trump expressing racism when he supports those who protest those who disrespect the flag? Isn’t it a stretch to say that’s an impeachable offense, to speak for the flag against those who kneel?

Aethelwine's avatar

^You didn’t answer @ragingloli‘s question.

ragingloli's avatar

here we go again, with the hollow rationalisations you come up with, when your own volksverhetzung is used against you.

Yellowdog's avatar

Its a moot point, because Trump never called Mexicans rapists.

Yellowdog's avatar

If you were driving down the interstate and your tires suddenly turned into concrete, who would you sue for damages?

ragingloli's avatar

Once again, you willfully say untruths.
“They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

So yes, he did call them rapists.

Aethelwine's avatar

Just a little more information to share. There are two pillars holding up an awning at the entrance to the gas station building. There is a flag on each pillar. Only one flag was displayed incorrectly. The woman who took the picture only took a picture of the incorrect flag. She posted her photos at 12:30 am. The flag was fixed by 6 am. Here we are 3 days later with her post still up and now people all across the country are outraged as if the flag is still hanging incorrectly. sorry, but talk about snowflakes.~

Those of us who are posting the Journal Star story with the facts are being marked as spam. The truth is not being allowed on her post. smh

Yellowdog's avatar

They ARE sending us rapists. Are you saying no one guilty of rape has never been sent , or illegally fled, from Mexico? Are you saying that there are no criminal elements among the influx of illegals from Mexico? I have news for you. Entire towns have been overrun by drug cartels. Is this all Mexicans? I hope not. But the influx of illegals from Mexico is a problem that many want to curtail precisely because of drug cartels and rapists—including many legal refugees and immigrants who are here to escape the drug cartels, and find them in their neighborhoods.

ragingloli's avatar

hanging the flag upside down is hatespeech, worthy of being assaulted and/or killed.
so is kneeling during the anthem.

but calling mexicans rapists is totally fine.

the right wing, everybody.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’d choose to go to that gas station above others to support their right to hang a piece of fabric whichever way they choose. Also, fuck those that have more respect for an object than people and claim to be patriotic.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Yellowdog still won’t answer @ragingloli‘s question but has no problem blaming Mexicans for everything.

Yellowdog's avatar

You are making the obviously false dichotomy that saying Mexico is sending us its worst, or that some of the worst of Mexico and listing rapists in the list of criminal elements coming from Mexico, is tantamount ti saying that ALL Mexicans are rapists,

A fourth or fifth grader can understand the difference,

thisismyusername's avatar

This thread is a mess.

@Call_Me_Jay‘s assertion that flag-respect is connected to low intelligence (“slow-witted dullard”, etc) somehow got 4 “great answer” votes. And now there are unsubstantiated claims that Mexico is sending rapists.

I suspect if we all cool down, we can parse out the arguments being made here. It’s all over the place.

Yellowdog's avatar

Cool down? I’m not even cooled up.

Yellowdog's avatar

Hey, I’ll get back to the Gas Station Flag Protest one last time here.

If I change the name of my Gas and Grocery to Rebel Gas and Groceries, and fly a fifty foot confederate flag, and say on the news I am “protesting” the PC culture and can call my gas station anything I want, the law may be on my side. And every true liberal-minded person ought to defend my right to free speech.

But no one will be sad if no one does business with me, either because of controversy or because they feel targeted by hate. And I can expect both legal problems with ordinances or crimes of violence and arson. I may be protected by law, but nobody likes me or is willing to take the risk of doing business with me, and some may strive to burn me out.

Flying the American flag upside down is similar. It is an in-your-face insult to many, and you can expect repercussions even if the law is on your side.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL “All it would take is tears in one old vets eyes and hell would break loose.”

I know what my two veteran grandfathers would say about it – they’d say that man’s right to fly the flag upside down, or even to burn it, is what they fought for.

flutherother's avatar

I checked Google Earth and two US flags are clearly displayed at the entrance to the gas station office. It’s hardly a big deal. Walgreens across the road is a different story. They aren’t displaying the flag at all.

BellaB's avatar

@Darth_Algar – exactly what the vet I live with just said. He celebrated 35 years of honorable discharge yesterday.

Aethelwine's avatar

@flutherother Good point about Walgreens.

If the owner was disgusted with America like these so-called true patriots think I doubt the owner would even have flags.

This is BP’s official statement that was made less than 24 hours after the flag was noticed upside down. http://imgur.com/TR7h3b0

flutherother's avatar

I was pleased to read too that since the “boycott” the gas station has had its busiest day ever.

Aethelwine's avatar

@flutherother I have a friend in the neighborhood visiting daily since this happened. I am now making it a priority to seek out businesses run by immigrants.

Soubresaut's avatar

I’m late to the discussion, but here are my thoughts:

I think outrage over an upside down flag is misplaced even if the flag is being flown that way purposefully as a protest. What is it really saying? According to tradition, it means an individual’s life or property is in distress. People then, based off that meaning, use it symbolically to protest government decisions that they view as harmful or otherwise troublesome—in a country where it’s our (first) Constitutional right to express that exact kind of dissatisfaction, as a first step in civic engagement.

Are people allowed to then boycott the store over that? Sure, they’re allowed to. But to actually get outraged over it and actually boycott it? Really? That’s the battle they want to have?

Anyway, we know from the woman’s first post that the anger, and the calls for boycott, aren’t really about the flag: “Immigration at its finest,” she says, a phrase which speaks volumes about the prejudices underpinning her beliefs. This is a country of immigrants. This is a country with a foundational belief that anyone can be an American, no matter their background, and that anyone can come to this country to make something of themselves. Her ignorance and prejudice are, to my mind, more disrespectful and damaging to the country than someone hanging the flag upside down.

Since someone mentioned the Confederate flag as a comparable example…. It’s not. The Confederate flag represents states that went to war over fear of losing a brutal system of slavery, and is connected to the subsequent history of white supremacy groups, lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and other forms of killing, intimidation, and segregation that happened in reaction to emancipation… it was then taken up as a symbol of intimidation by the most famous of those white supremacy groups. And, as flag created during a civil war by opposition to the country, it represents a time when the country itself was in great distress. That’s a lot of historical pain and hatefulness and threat to willfully ignore, or willfully present. If flying a flag in an orientation that represents individual distress is disrespectful, surely flying a flag that represents the historical distress of at least millions (across generations) is disrespectful in proportional magnitude.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Tell you what- we can settle the immigration issue here and now. All of us pack up and return to our country of origin, and leave North America to Native Americans. I doubt they would have an issue with that. Problem solved. Unless the Navaho still want a wall to keep out those distasteful Yaquis.

imrainmaker's avatar

@Soubresaut – I think you’re right on the money…very well put!!

Soubresaut's avatar

@NomoreY_A—yeah, “nation of immigrants” completely ignores that whole history.

@imrainmaker, thanks

Patty_Melt's avatar

Yay! I get to stay.

Loli has to leave. Oh, that’s right, loli has never been here.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think Loli would fit right in. Can we trade a thousand American conservatives, for 1 Loli? Or a million?

NomoreY_A's avatar

But where can I go? My ancestors were from northern England and that’s too cold and gloomy. More recently my moms people were from Cork in Ireland, and I was once told by an Irishman that Corkers aren’t truely Celtic, they’re a bunch of fucking Vikings. So I guess it’s back to North America for me with Lief Ericson and Company.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am native. I say loli stays in the mossy crevice.

Response moderated (Spam)
LadyMarissa's avatar

First of all, I wouldn’t be taking pictures & posting to FaceBook where I could stir people into a frenzy. I would have started by NOT speaking with just an employee. I would have began by commenting to the Manager in Charge. IF I didn’t like that answer, I’d insist to speak with owner. IF the owner didn’t give me a satisfactory response, I’d contact the BP corporate office. IF BP corporate didn’t respond favorably, I’d contact the nearest news station. By that point, somebody with more authority than me would be contacting the owner & things would be fixed. After learning that Russia was behind stirring up the masses during the Black Lives Matter campaign, I take very little to the internet that I feel that I can take care of myself.

Bullying just creates MORE bullying & I personally don’t want to be bullied so I don’t start out by bullying!!! You catch more flies with honey!!!

Whoopiwho's avatar

I have a very close friend who has had the sheriff called on him numerous times over the last 5 plus years for flying his flag upside down. I never knew until I first seen his flag upside down what it meant. He made some valid points especially with the clowns we had in charge at the time and frankly it hasn’t gotten any better. The sheriffs who have so much respect for my friend occasionally stop by just to tell him the number of calls they’ve received and the anger people express when they are told he has the right to fly his flag that way. I mean no one cares about the Vietnam Veteran Flag that he fly’s nor the Marine Flag which if they only knew he served 4 tours in Vietnam and the only thanks he got for defending our country and flag was bringing home literally a half of a butt full of shrapnel cuz other half was blown off

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