So, Fourth of July is coming up tomorrow -- a day of questioning "Is that fireworks or gunshots" and the people who drop their plates to call the police to tell them about the people firing sparkly bullets into the sky, certain someone is being murdered next door.
I'm a 911 dispatcher, I am NOT looking forward to Fourth of July for this reason. = u =
Anyways, a little topic rose up in my town here recently. An unknown individual rented a crane and rose a flag upside down on it, and has kept it there for days.
What is your first reaction, if you are American? Are you disturbed? Are you offended? Does it not bother you at all? Do you recognize the meaning?
People flew into a riot upon seeing it. "Disgusting disrespect!" they cried. Soon, they even began to threaten lighting the crane on fire in protest at how the person was disrespecting the country.
The real meaning of the upside down flag? Do you know?
It's an officially recognized sign of dire distress.
Distress, not disrespect. Certainly one should not raise it in such a manner without actually being in distress, but that aside, even with the official definition given to us by our own country, the people crying disrespect refused to acknowledge it. They simply wanted to be offended, to decide "No, that's wrong, it's a sign of disrespect, it's like he's burning the flag!"
To me, this is both sad and amusing. To love your country so much, rise to the chance to defend it against the average bored man's plight, and yet refuse to acknowledge a definition your own country gives you that says no, stop, you are wrong.
Some people, when told of the definition, and told they can relax and not feel so offended replied with "If its his right to express himself that way, its my right to feel upset!"
But why? Why, when you were just givent he proper definition, would you feel upset?
What if someone raised a flag only half-mast, yet had no real reason? The average passerby would look at it and not even begin to feel offended. They may even feel pity or sympathy. It doesn't matter if someone actually died or not, or if there was a tragedy or not. Simply because they understand the meaning, it's not offensive to them, whether it's a lie or not.
The difference in this situation is that people simply don't KNOW. I myself didn't know the meaning of an upside down flag, so before I felt offended or laid claim that the person doing it was a scumbag, I looked it up. I educated myself, and I found quickly there was no need for negative thoughts or feelings.
Come now, everyone, let us educate ourselves, for knowledge brings great power!