Distress signal: A Sign for Our Time

Paul Shlichta
At a meeting where the opposition continually prevents you from being heard by shouting you down, your best recourse is to wave a highly visible sign, preferably a picture. I've had to do this at anti-abortion rallies.

We're in this situation now. We can't get our message to the public because the media picks up some small item (like the 47% video) and keeps loudly chanting about it for days or weeks. We need a sign--a highly visible image--that they can't shout down.

I think I've found it in a collection of old National Review columns. In April 1995, William F. Buckley Jr., in an obituary for his longtime friend, William F. Rickenbacker, commented on Rickenbacker's idea of protesting the flag-burning craze by flying the American flag at half mast:

Instead, I'm flying my own flag at full mast, but upside-down, in the international signal of distress. A flag that has been abandoned by its own country is certainly in distress...

What better symbol could we have of our present predicament? Terrorists invade our embassy in Cairo and burn our flag; we respond by apologizing. We meekly stand by while Iran makes A-bombs and Putin rearms Russia.  Our deficit grows alarmingly while Democrats propose new entitlement schemes to spend money we don't have. Investment analysts downgrade U.S. Treasury bonds and our president just shrugs and tries to increase our debt limit. Our national existence is in jeopardy while an oblivious public focuses on the new fall TV shows. If this isn't a nation in distress, I hope I never find out what is.

Adding the capping insult, Obama's official store recently offered an Obamerican redesign of our flag, with the Obama logo replacing the field of stars. Obama's lackeys have perpetrated similar outrages  before.

I therefore propose that all concerned citizens proclaim their alarm by displaying their flags upside-down, as in the picture. This is an international sign of distress and, according to the U.S. Flag Code, is not a mark of disrespect. If people ask or complain, we can tell them what it means and why we are doing it*.

Of course, the pro-Democratic media will try to distort our message by claiming that "our platform is upside-down" or that the Republican Party, rather than the nation, is in a state of distress. But by doing so, they will have shifted public focus to the issues we want concentrate on. 

So let's invert our flags and display them prominently from now until Election Day--after which, I hope and pray, we can turn them right-side-up again.

_____________

*  Harassment is possible. According to a 2007 news item, "since 9/11, there have been several cases where individuals have been harassed, intimidated, and even arrested for inverting the flag, by those who confuse a love of government with a love of country." It might be useful to download the official Flag Etiquette and have copies handy

At a meeting where the opposition continually prevents you from being heard by shouting you down, your best recourse is to wave a highly visible sign, preferably a picture. I've had to do this at anti-abortion rallies.

We're in this situation now. We can't get our message to the public because the media picks up some small item (like the 47% video) and keeps loudly chanting about it for days or weeks. We need a sign--a highly visible image--that they can't shout down.

I think I've found it in a collection of old National Review columns. In April 1995, William F. Buckley Jr., in an obituary for his longtime friend, William F. Rickenbacker, commented on Rickenbacker's idea of protesting the flag-burning craze by flying the American flag at half mast:

Instead, I'm flying my own flag at full mast, but upside-down, in the international signal of distress. A flag that has been abandoned by its own country is certainly in distress...

What better symbol could we have of our present predicament? Terrorists invade our embassy in Cairo and burn our flag; we respond by apologizing. We meekly stand by while Iran makes A-bombs and Putin rearms Russia.  Our deficit grows alarmingly while Democrats propose new entitlement schemes to spend money we don't have. Investment analysts downgrade U.S. Treasury bonds and our president just shrugs and tries to increase our debt limit. Our national existence is in jeopardy while an oblivious public focuses on the new fall TV shows. If this isn't a nation in distress, I hope I never find out what is.

Adding the capping insult, Obama's official store recently offered an Obamerican redesign of our flag, with the Obama logo replacing the field of stars. Obama's lackeys have perpetrated similar outrages  before.

I therefore propose that all concerned citizens proclaim their alarm by displaying their flags upside-down, as in the picture. This is an international sign of distress and, according to the U.S. Flag Code, is not a mark of disrespect. If people ask or complain, we can tell them what it means and why we are doing it*.

Of course, the pro-Democratic media will try to distort our message by claiming that "our platform is upside-down" or that the Republican Party, rather than the nation, is in a state of distress. But by doing so, they will have shifted public focus to the issues we want concentrate on. 

So let's invert our flags and display them prominently from now until Election Day--after which, I hope and pray, we can turn them right-side-up again.

_____________

*  Harassment is possible. According to a 2007 news item, "since 9/11, there have been several cases where individuals have been harassed, intimidated, and even arrested for inverting the flag, by those who confuse a love of government with a love of country." It might be useful to download the official Flag Etiquette and have copies handy