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Old 07-11-2009, 01:07 PM
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Upside down U.S. flag seized by police. Did they have the right?

July 4th, a man in Wisconsin (an Iraq war Marine) decided to fly his U.S. flag upside down in protest over the town refusing to grant him a liquor license for a restaurant he wants to open and has already spent $200,000 on. Hours before a Fourth Of July parade, local police officers entered his property without permission and took the flag down.

It was returned to him the very next day...

Were the police within their rights to do something like that? I don't think so. If they were, they still violated his free speech rights and the ACLU, which is going to sue the town, will have a heyday with this one.

Would've taken less time for the officers to just walk up and hand the man $50,000 because that's probably what it'll cost the town.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090710/...side_down_flag
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:14 PM
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I am not an American but the silly fool should count himself lucky that they did that as doing what he did on such a patriotic day may have cost him or his family harm by some patriotic folk.

I would think they did him a favour, though yes, it does go against freedom to express ones views.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:25 PM
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The 4th of July is the day Americans celebrate their independence...from tyranny.

Yet obviously tyranny is alive and well right here at home.

I don't think it's a good business decision to anger your customers (who else will be eating there when he finally gets the doors open?) but he should be allowed to state his views and protest in the manner he sees fits the situation.

After all, isn't that one of the things he was fighting for as a Marine?
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G10 View Post
I am not an American but the silly fool should count himself lucky that they did that as doing what he did on such a patriotic day may have cost him or his family harm by some patriotic folk.

I would think they did him a favour, though yes, it does go against freedom to express ones views.
I agree with that, it seems they did it to protect him from some angry patriot who might have felt insulted.

They returned him the flag the next day anyway, he can hang it again if he wishes so.

Quote:
Yet obviously tyranny is alive and well right here at home.
Your country's government is far from tyranny. Check the news from Venezuela if you want to know what tyranny is.
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Last edited by Hades; 07-11-2009 at 04:14 PM.
 
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:00 PM
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Once a Marine always a Marine, there is no such thing as an X-Marine unless you are referring to Senator Murtha from what I have been told by other Marines. That being said:

Quote:
(a) The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property(Luckey, 2008, pp.6).
Being that he is a Marine and he has found himself in dire distress in his own confession being a total loss of what he has by having to claim bankruptcy due to broken promise, it is within his view of what the flying of the colors upside down are for, and it is doing exactly what it was designed to do, drawing attention to get him or his comrades the help they need.

As for whether the officers had the right to go on his property and remove the flag? That is a very hairy question, as the Sheriff stated, his flying the flag upside down is not illegal, his inciting a riot is, now, that is a cop out if you ask me and they had no right to physically remove it without permission before the actual act happened. At the most they may have been able to write him a ticket for violating something if they could find it, however, the Sheriff's department was clearing overstepping their authority and not following the system in my humble opinion. Unless there was a court order somewhere that said he had to remove it I haven't heard about...

Lucky, J. (200. The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display
and Associated Questions. Retrieved July 11, 2009 from http://senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:20 PM
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Once a Marine always a Marine, there is no such thing as an X-Marine...
Yes, some people and specially newspapers make that mistake very often.
There's a difference between a retired soldier and an ex-soldier. The ex left the forces while the retired is no longer in active service.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:28 PM
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U.S. Navy myself back in the 80's...my father, who passed away March 29th was a Marine that had served in Vietnam, his military burial was very moving. I am familiar with pride for country, especially that which is drilled into a Marine, I am sure still this day and age.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:23 PM
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Don't you find it interesting that the police chose July 4th to take it down? That they did so just a few hours prior to the parade?

But then the police returned the flag to him the next day?

So flying the flag upside down on July 4 is against the law or something? Not last I heard.

I think someone made the decision because it would look bad for the town if someone flew a flag upside down during a parade on, of all days, the Fourth of July.

And if anyone wanted to enter his property and remove the flag, or get in the man's face about it, that's something that remains to be seen, and since police removed the flag before it could happen, they don't know for a fact that anyone would have objected by causing a scene.

I say they violated this man's rights and should pay the consequences.

Nevertheless, the man is not making any friends in that town. Small-town cops will be watching his every move, just looking for an excuse. He might as well sell and move somewhere else if he wants to go into business.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:42 PM
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The Sheriff stated that there was a likelihood of disruption to the festivities and that was the ordinance that gave them the excuse. I personally find it somewhat repulsive that they did so, and think that a very lame excuse.

I believe that his rights have been violated, and I also do not disagree with his flying it the way that he is if he has just cause. From my understanding, and I may be wrong, but he was given the idea by the city that he could get the license once completed and then was denied the license after making the investment. I could be wrong, though I wonder what the reason for denying the license is?

We in this country are all currently under siege, and I applaud those that stand up, and disregard popularity in order to point it out. I would proudly eat at his establishment, no making of an enemy here.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:09 PM
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I'm behind you 100% about supporting this guy. He has the stuff to stand up for what he believes in, unlike (it seems more and more) 95% of the rest of the nation.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:45 PM
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I think this should fall under a persons right of free speech. I realize the symbol of our country is sacred, but so is our right to voice our displeasure over how we feel our gov't is treating us. He did not desecrate the flag, but instead pointed out that right now he feels things are a little upside down to him.

Leave the man alone and let him express himself. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:51 PM
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Not to be repetitious but it is important that we understand the exact meaning of flying the flag upside down, as it gives the credibility to what it is that he is doing and why. It is a very specific statement that he is making, and doing so properly.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property(Luckey, 2008, pp.6).

Lucky, J. (200. The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display
and Associated Questions. Retrieved July 11, 2009 from http://senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen Farlow View Post
I say they violated this man's rights and should pay the consequences.
With due respect, don't you think that is an exaggeration?

You seem to state that the freedom of speech was disabled for him because they took his flag.

But they returned it the next day, didn't they? He can hang it again. That leads me to think that they removed it only to prevent him from being hit by some patriotic guy who got drunk in the celebrations.

Why do I think this?
-they returned him the flag,
-they didn't incarcerate him,
-you read about it in the news.

In a country without freedom of speech, after this act the guy would be in jail, his flag in a locker and no newspaper would be allowed to write about it.

The clearest example of this is Venezuela, Hugo Chavez closed every non official newspaper, incarcerated or chased away from the country every opposition member, ordered repression (physically and sometimes with lethal force) to every demonstrator and the list goes on and on.

I bet a lot more people than you think would LOVE to live in a country with your laws and level of freedom of speech.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hades View Post
The clearest example of this is Venezuela, Hugo Chavez closed every non official newspaper, incarcerated or chased away from the country every opposition member, ordered repression (physically and sometimes with lethal force) to every demonstrator and the list goes on and on.

I bet a lot more people than you think would LOVE to live in a country with your laws and level of freedom of speech.
I understand what you are attempting to say completely. In a time before Hugo Chavez how were things in Venezuela? I ask this not as a smart ass but one that thinks they have a minimal idea but really not sure. If there were more freedoms than there are now, if there was in fact non-state ran media, people were allowed to voice opinion openly without fear of retribution, then would you not think then that our situation currently with such actions happening without recourse could or will lead us in the same plight as those in Venezuela find themselves over time?

How was it that Chavez was able to remove the freedoms so quickly from the country? With freedom comes responsibility, one of those responsibilities I would think would be for the citizens to continuously hold the government, and others, accountable for their actions and to ensure the continuation of the freedoms as they are intended to exist.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:57 AM
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I wonder if he'll serve donuts in that restaurant.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:24 AM
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i really have trouble understanding why do some americans make such a big deal out of their flag ...
Patriotism can expressed in many other way than whorshipping a flag
 
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation's strength and unity. It's been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. And the American Flag has been a prominent icon in our national history. Here are the highlights of its unique past.

On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington's control. On that New Year's Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).
Quote:
Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.
http://www.usa-flag-site.org/history.shtml

Of course you should look at the etiquette site I have posted twice above.. I take it you have never served in the U.S. armed forces? Historically, and I mean way back, the colors were used as a rally point, there were no radios, no communication except for runners, when troops were on the field of battle they knew the status of their side by looking for their colors, if they were not found the battle was lost. As long as the colors were seen and raised the soldiers knew to fight on.

The American Flag actually is a symbolic representation of The United States of America, to show and hold a great respect to the flag is showing great respect to the country that it symbolizes. This is why you see those that hold contempt for the United States burning the flag, they are symbolizing the burning of our country and what it represents.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:55 AM
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I understand what you are attempting to say completely. In a time before Hugo Chavez how were things in Venezuela? I ask this not as a smart ass but one that thinks they have a minimal idea but really not sure.
There was an opposition before he became president. There were also non official newspapers, TV channels, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegamerslink
How was it that Chavez was able to remove the freedoms so quickly from the country?
First he failed to make a military coup d'etat, for which he spent only 2 years in prison.

After being freed, he organized a protest movement asking people not to vote in the elections (again an act to revoke democracy), and for the next elections he created his own party, making promises to the lower classes in the population, making political alliances with some key people in his society, and he won.

After becoming president he called a National Constituent Assembly to "re fund the republic". Basically this allowed him to do anything he wanted with the government (monitor the elections, appoint whoever he wants in any of the institutions, take over private property),

The only attempt to stop his madness was yet another military coup which was attempted in 2002, after it was quelled the people involved in it all received from 16 to 30 years of imprisonment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegamerslink
With freedom comes responsibility, one of those responsibilities I would think would be for the citizens to continuously hold the government, and others, accountable for their actions and to ensure the continuation of the freedoms as they are intended to exist.
I agree with that, and all the way from 1999 to a few years ago, most of the people on his country supported him, and they would accept breaking the democratic rules to ensure that a "liberator" would come and save the poor. I would not accept that, no matter how poor I was.

Being an Argentinean I can tell you that my country is not very rich either, and our history was very tough too, in only 200 years of history (Arg. founded in 1810) we had 7 coup d'etats, being the first in 1930 and the last in 2001.
-All of them broke the stability of the democratic institutions,
-All of them were a promise to the people for a better life,
-All of them put the country in a deeper misery.

I would not trade my democracy for a promise.

While not everybody, at least some of us South Americans admire the democratic stability that the US has. And we wish one day to have the same in our countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegamerslink
If there were more freedoms than there are now... if there was in fact non-state ran media, people were allowed to voice opinion openly without fear of retribution, then would you not think then that our situation currently with such actions happening without recourse could or will lead us in the same plight as those in Venezuela find themselves over time?
That depends on how do you see this action. You might see it as an attack to the freedom of speech, I see it as an act of protection towards this guy, who might have ended in troubles with other people in the 4th of July. If they wanted to deny him freedom of speech the action would have been a lot worse (involving intimidation or even incarceration). Don't you think?

Certainly it is not right what they did but I would think they did it more to preserve order rather than to suppress his rights. I guess the balance between these 2 is very difficult to find sometimes.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:38 AM
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Its not right, if america stands for freedom we should have freedoms.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:34 AM
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Freedom is relative. We're not free to drive as fast as we want or kill who we want. But I agree, they shouldn't have bothered this gentleman. Not because some holy right was denied him, but because it was petty.
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