Well, I just had to post this one. Idiots like this really, really get me going. Really. I'm a true believer of expressing one's beliefs, and let enough alone, for the most part. BUT, when you start doing activities like this, I believe you have completely crossed the line...
Would you let your neighbors fly the flag upside down just for 'political expression'??? (photo courtesy of Denver Post)
UPDATE: RMN reports a complete cave-in from the HOA: "But today the Cambridge Park Homeowners Association Inc. said in a statement "that the best interests of all the Association's members would not be served by pursuing enforcement under these specific circumstances" - even though the HOA contends Hammer is violating its policy and the Federal Flag Code." (LINK)
Disgusting.... so try reading the comments posted HERE. I'm actually surprised at the ratios.
This Colorado woman has taken to flying Old Glory upside down in front of her house in protest of the Iraq War.
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.
The Cambridge Park Homeowners Association, which represents owners of 107 patio homes, doesn't agree with Hammer's perspective.
On Wednesday night, the association's board met to hear her response to its notice of noncompliance. The board took no action, and board members refused to comment.
The board was minus one member: Hammer's husband, Doug, a board member who did not participate in the meeting but supports her.
The association board notified Beth Hammer in an April 24 letter that the flag display is against federal flag code and is in violation of the association's "patriotic and political expression policy."
The letter gave her a week to right the flag or face fines that appear to range from $25 to $500.
Now, I'll allow that she just didn't pop up and say ''today I'll do this'', at least according to news accounts that I've looked up (HERE and HERE), but in any way I can conceive of it, this is a step too far. To me, this is the equivalent of shouting ''Fire!" in a public place just to practice free speech- and it IS exactly like that, as flying a flag upside down is considered a call for help or sign of distress.
Consider this- what if EVERY cut-and-run, pro-losing protester started flying THEIR flags upside down in front of every home? A kinds of 'anti-Yellow Ribbon' movement?
Will the courts consider this the equivalent of flag burning in protest?
Personally, I'd grab a few of my fellow Patriot Riders (they be willing) and stand guard out front, blocking view of her flag, holding our own. Daily. Park a large trailer painted with a nice flag out front. ANYTHING to counter this, legally. Peaceably. But, do it I would.
Hammer intends to continue to fly the flag with the union down until she is forced by a ruling, a fine or on advice from her attorney to do otherwise.
She can march, speak out, write, blog, whatever, all she wants. But, this desecration of our national symbol, of our heritage, goes beyond that. Why not just hang Bush in effigy? Or, how about a Bald Eagle? There you go- make a stuffed Bald Eagle and hang it by its head out front- THAT's free speech, right? Can't wait to see THAT one happen. Oh, wait, PETA would scream bloody murder...
She not only brings attention to herself and cause, she causes problems for her neighbors- and if she was truly the caring person, she'd do things that would not cause harm to fellow neighbors- as this certainly does.
I could not find an email address for her or the association her husband, Doug, belongs to. They need some infusion of outrage, in my mind.
FRIDAY UPDATE: Since the HOA caved in, and even admit that there is a possible breach in code, I think its time to find out what the CITY is considering. I understand that HOAs have a lot of lattitude, but they still must abide by city and state law. Not to mention federal. I'm curious to find out what ultimately caused them to back off- cost of litigation? Inconvenience? Lazy???
Go back to my comment about 'what if they all did...' That seems to be more and more likely.