Our Stars & Stripes flies upside down on this 4th

Bruce L. Patchen of Seattle, Washington, served in the Army for more than 20 years.

He was a proud veteran who served his country.

Pride, however, is not what he feels about America today.

He wrote in the Seattle Times:

I was a medic in Vietnam who held brave, dying soldiers on the battlefield.

I went on to proudly serve 20 years in the U.S. Army and have never been disrespectful of my flag.

Because of the serious moral threat presented by the current administration, I now respectfully fly my American flag upside down.

Flying the American flag upside down in an international symbol of distress.

On Thursday, July 4th, we join Patchen and many other Americans who will fly the Stars and Stripes upside down because we are truly a nation in distress.

In Long Island, lifelong Republican James Klein — a Navy veteran and retired NYPD cop — also flies the American flag upside down.

He says:

I think this country with Donald Trump is in distress. They think I’m disrespecting that flag. I’m not disrespecting that flag.

Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8 of the U.S. 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 and property.”

To a growing number of Americans, the antics of the nation’s current leadership represents a clear and present danger to this nation.

Two veterans near Jacksonville, Florida, say America’s troubles began before Trump came on the scene.

“I’m flying this flag upside down because I feel this country is in distress, the worst it’s been in since its inception in 1776,” says Jack Haggerty, a Marine, who began displaying the American flag upside down in 2012. “That’s an international sign of distress. All countries use it.”

A few miles away, Philip Hoelzel, makes the same statement. Hoelzel served in Vietnam and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Navy.

“We’re going to go nowhere,” Hoelzel told TV News 4 in Jacksonville seven years ago. “We’re what, $14-, $16 trillion in debt. Who’s going to pay for all this stuff? Nobody’s doing nothing.”

Some don’t like such displays.

“And these people are telling me I’m not a patriot? Who the hell are they kidding?” Haggerty said. “I’m more patriotic than anybody you’ll come across.”

A growing number of veterans and other Americans dislike the plans Trump has for putting himself in the middle of Thursday’s July 4th celebration in Washington.

Reports The Washington Post:

Trump said Monday that this Fourth will be “like no other.”

But local officials and critics have complained that he is turning a nonpartisan celebration of the nation’s birthday into a political campaign event.

No president has been part of a Fourth of July celebration on the Mall in recent memory.

The cash-strapped National Park Service said Tuesday it is diverting nearly $2.5 million from a reserve fund to help pay for what many are now calling “Trump’s folly.”

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” says Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the interior, environment and related agencies. “No ticketed political event should be paid for with taxpayer dollars.”

The Washington Post adds:

By tapping entrance fees to cover the presidential event, Interior is siphoning money that is typically used to enhance the visitor experience either on the Mall or at smaller parks across the country, with projects ranging from road and bridge repair to habitat restoration. The transfer amounts to nearly 5 percent of the funds that less-profitable parks used last year for upgrades, according to budget documents.

“This is a breach of trust with the public,” Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, told the Post in an email. “The public pays parks fees to fix national parks and for educational programs, not the president’s parade.”

Which is yet another reason why the American flag flies upside down on this July 4th.

It may stay that way afterwards.  We are truly a nation in distress.

 

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