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Source: Courier Times
Date: August 12, 2011
Byline: Joan Hellyer

Flag protester does an about-face - : Courier Times: flag protest, distress signal, troubled economy, president barack obama,

The American flag flying in front of the home of Randy Sills Sr. is now hanging right side up.

Sills, a Falls resident, inverted his flag earlier this week to protest President Barack Obama’s “lack of leadership” through the economic crisis.

But the freelance broadcast associate said he did an abrupt about-face with the protest Thursday after hearing from area residents. They felt his actions were disrespectful to members of the military who defend the flag and American freedoms.

“I didn’t want to incite that,” Sills said Thursday. “I did not want to offend anyone by this.”

The Flag Code in the U.S. Code of Laws allows for an American flag to be flown upside down as “an official signal of distress” when there is an extreme danger to life or property.

Sills said he considers the nation to be in distress because of the weak economy.

He inverted his flag as a distress signal and pledged to keep it flying that way until Obama leaves office.

“My voice was heard, I believe,” Sills said Thursday.

While he did receive some support from people who are troubled by what they believe is Obama’s “lack of leadership,” Sills said he felt it best to fly the flag right side up.

“It will stay up there hung properly for the love of our country and the servicemen and women that gave us the freedom to protest,” he said.

Local veterans like Bill Incollingo welcomed Sills’ about-face on his flag protest.

“I’m glad to hear that. I take the flag very seriously,” said Incollingo, a Falls resident and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “Everyone is entitled to their own politics but don’t destroy or disgrace the flag men and women have been dying for years and are still doing.”

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