Date: March 26, 2010
Byline: Cameron Clark
Star spangled protest to health care reform
Manitowoc businessman flies flag upside down
MANITOWOC — When you walk into the lobby of Manitowoc Custom Molding you are greeted by a small billboard that reads "God bless America." But all this week, another expression toward the country on the front lawn of the business, has drawn more attention.
"It's a peaceful way of demonstrating," said MCM President Mike Fredrich about his upside-down American flag. "Under dire circumstances, it's an appropriate way of expressing your situation."
Fredrich says it is in response to health care reform. While he expects his business to be hurt by the taxes in the new bill, he says the flag protest is not about economics.
"It's contrary to the constitution, which is very clear," said Fredrich. "The U.S. government has enumerated powers, running a health care system is not one of them."
Fredrich says several people have stopped in to comment on the flag, with mixed reaction.
FOX 11 has received dozens of comments about the story on our Facebook page online.
"Good for them," wrote a viewer named Gail. "We should not be forced to do something. I still love my country, but the government has taken some things too far."
A viewer named D.C., who says he comes from a long line of military members, wrote:
"This move is appalling to me. If you want to protest this health care bill, that is your right. Myself and my family have fought, and in some instances DIED for your right to protest. But to disrespect the FLAG is not the answer."
"It's not meant in any way to disparage the flag," said Fredrich. "I love the flag, I love the county."
The Chair-woman of the Manitowoc County Democratic Party says she does not have a problem with the protest, but thinks there is a lot of misinformation about the health care bill.
"Hey, that's the beautiful part of living in the United States, you're free to express your opinions," said Nan Hallock. "I think once everybody realizes what this bill is giving them and their neighbors they're going to go, 'oh, oh, ok.'"
The flag MCM will not likely stay upside-down for long. Fredrich says he plans to replace it with a Revolutionary War flag.
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