November 09, 2012

Upside-down flag sparks outrage

McDonald's Flies American Flag Upside Down At Half-Staff In Follansbee, West Virginia (PHOTO)

By Ryan GrenobleFor the most part, today's reactions to last night's presidential reaction have been a predictable mix of partisan lunacy and more measured calls for national unity.

But it seems a McDonald's restaurant in Follansbee, West Virginia, is particularly distressed. The fast food eatery was spotted flying the American flag upside down this morning at half-staff--typically a signal that the flag-bearer is in jeopardy and in dire need of assistance.

An upside-down flag can also be interpreted as a protest. Many saw the flag as an objection to Tuesday night's presidential election results.

According to News9, an employee at the restaurant indicated the flag's position had been set by the owner.

A person representing themselves as the owner of that McDonald's later contacted News9 and told the station that the flag's position and appearance was the result of a mistake.

Comment:  It's hard to believe that the flag turned upside-down through an error and nobody noticed. It seems more likely that the manager wanted to send a message but lied about it when he was caught.

Here's an example of the outrage the upside-down flag generated--an excerpt from an open letter:

Re-posting from a Proud American:You didn't lose because you "weren't conservative enough" or because the country has become full of lazy "takers" who don't want to earn a living or just want America to "turn in to Europe."

You didn't lose because of Hurricane Sandy or because Chris Christie hugged the President on TV--they were both doing their jobs.

You didn't lose because of a liberal media, liberal college campuses, liberal polls that were "weighted to Democrats" (mostly because they were accurate), or because of "election fraud"... actually, that probably benefited you this time.

No. You lost because your policies, tone, conspiracies, rigid inflexibility and irrational rhetoric helped align enough moderates, swing voters, and minority groups whom otherwise could be persuaded by Republicans, to align with Democrats and a beatable incumbent.

It's not that you didn't get your message out, it's that we all actually heard it and threw up a little in our mouths.

There isn't a mandate for Democrats in this election. Liberalism wasn't rewarded in this election. However, calm pragmatism, compassion, working together, compromise and sincerity were rewarded. People may not have agreed with President Obama, but more felt he was sincere and that he understood their daily problems, fears, and dreams. If you don't trust what the polls say, take a look at who is sworn in on January 20th. I thought you'd at least believe in Math when it came to counting to 270.

Sincerity is the only thing in politics you can't fake. You can't teach it. No matter how shiny a candidate's bio is, how smooth he is, or how perfect the gray hairs rest on his temples--any average Joe on the street can spot a bullshitter.

Mitt is a generous and good man, but he didn't know who he was or "needed" to be at any given time in that campaign. That's largely his fault for lacking core convictions or personal toughness (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush possessed both traits--that's why they won).

But you, the right wing base of the party, who drove so many of us moderate republicans out the door years ago, were the main catalyst. Your inability to reason, compromise, or let new facts and evidence challenge your predetermined outcomes led millions of moderates to no longer be able to stand on stage with you.

Frankly, you're embarrassing--more so than a crazy family member at dinner, or having your mom drop you off at a high school dance.

You say stupid shit and look stupid saying it.

You pass amendments to ban flag burning and then hang it upside down and post it on Facebook when you lose.

You preach limited government in the economy when Democrats are in charge and then look the other way when you're in charge.

You want a government small enough to stay out of corporations and banks but big enough for bedrooms and hospital respirators (see Schiavo, Terri).

There's a hatred inside of you that burns in a way that scares normal people.
And the conclusion:Please. I welcome a challenge to what I've said. If you think because I voted for President Obama that I'm a socialist or that I don't want a better America, I'm happy to take time from running a business I've co-founded and time from money I'm trying to raise for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to pause and give you a fresh one. At no charge.

But I do ask this: be a real Patriot. Look at that flag you've hung upside down. Look at what you've done to it and what that means. Thousands of our bravest men and women, braver than me, just lost limbs and in many cases their lives so that Iraqis and Afghanis could vote however they see fit. I did that on Tuesday and so did you. That's what that flag stands for--equal access to a process, not a guarantee for any of our desired outcomes.

A country that defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and bin Laden won't crumble because the guy you wanted to be President got beat.

You lost. Now learn from it.


A Proud American
Comment:  For more on the presidential campaign, see White Men Lose to Demographic Change and Obama Wins Again!


dmarks said...

Check this out

Anyway, Proud American in your post is going way overboard. The election victory was so small, that if you had subtracted a couple of gaffes from Romney, he would have won. Proud and many like him are imagining a mandate that doesn't exist.

And yes this happens any time Republicans win also.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

At half-staff wouldn't be an "accident" either, of course. But hey, they can say this. I'm sure Janet Jackson's cup came off by accident too.

Rob said...

In his blog, DMarks provides another example of an upside-down flag:

This suggests the West Virginia occurrence is part of a trend, not an isolated mistake.