Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Beth Hammer has turned her gated Wheat Ridge community upside down with her upside-down display of the U.S. flag.
On March 19 - the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq - Hammer decided to hang her flag upside down, which under the federal flag code is a signal of distress.
The 64-year-old retired banker said flying the flag with the white-starred blue field - called the union - on the bottom is her silent protest.
"I think the war in Iraq has put this country in distress," Hammer said. "We are losing lives, liberty and our honor."
Hammer contends displaying the U.S. flag upside down is her First Amendment right of free speech. She has hired a Denver civil rights lawyer, Mari Newman.
Why is the US Flag diplayed Upside Down?
The upside down U.S. flag is an official signal of distress. It is not meant to be, and is not officially recognized as any type of disrespect when so displayed for the right reasons. To the contrary, here is the relevant part of the US Code of Laws regarding how to fly the flag when in distress:
THE FLAG CODE
Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10
As amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress
Approved July 7, 1976
§ 176. Respect for flag: No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
(a) 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.
Most individuals who have served in the military service of our nation will (or should) recognize this signal.
As a result of the many traitors and enemies we as a free people have, both foreign and domestic, as a result of the many unconstitutional acts, legislation, and atrocities passed and/or committed against US citizens and their life, liberty and property, and as a result of policies that allow a porous border policy, I believe the life, liberty and property of US Citizens are in dire danger and distress.