2009.02.18 Troy Shoemaker: Upside down flag

Written by David Green.

I am not only disgruntled but very disturbed to hear that anyone would fly our American flag upside down or that anyone would agree it was the right thing to do. I am and have been receiving emails daily on this topic since it has came up half a world away.

My first question to you is to ask if you have served and or know someone close to you who has? Perhaps you need a history lesson. According to the U.S Code the American Flag is only to be flown upside down only in a time of distress. It has nothing to do with personal distress or opinion. This to me sounds personal or some kind of bitterness.

You do have the right, it is a free country, but there are other options and ways to go about it rather than disgracing something that a lot of people hold close to them. Don’t act shocked or amazed that it would cause such an uproar in a small town like Fayette. Just because your stocks are falling or because you’re stuck in Fayette because you cannot sell your house or because your personal finances are in distress gives you no reason to fly the American flag upside down.

If you feel that you are in fact in distress then I invite you to join me in Afghanistan where I and thousands of other soldiers know the real meaning of distress. And you may ask, “Do we fly our flag upside down?” “Absolutely not” is the answer.

You may ask me if I agree or like the direction our country is heading and the answer is “absolutely not.” But I am not going to act in a biased or disgraceful manner. I am not only ashamed but embarrassed with our mayor. You are supposed to be a role model and a positive figurehead.

I have seen more than my share of American flag draped coffins leave these places of the world. The flag has so much more meaning to it and unless you yourself have served, you may not understand even though a lot who have not served do. I encourage you to ask any vet of any era, or even an average positive patriotic person and I am sure they will give you a quick class on it.

I wish you could personally see the faces and looks I get when I talk about it to other soldiers or personnel over here with me. From officers, to enlisted, and civilians as well.

Thank you to my family and friends as well as the people in the area who support us through thick and thin. It means a lot. We appreciate you for appreciating us and what we do and stand for. My 15-month tour in Afghanistan is coming to an end very soon. I am looking forward to coming home to Fayette for good this spring.

– Troy Shoemaker

U.S Army/Resident of Fayette

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016