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Source: Technician
Date: January 12, 2009
Byline: Alexander Gonzalez

Letter: Please respect our flag

While driving past Mitch's Tavern on Hillsborough street I noticed that they were improperly displaying three U.S. flags. They were raised upside down, with the stars facing down and the stripes toward the sky. Upon calling them, I was hung up on. My roommate did the same with exactly the same result.

I called a friend of mine, who used to work there, and he was also hung up on. I attempted to explain to them in a very polite manner about properly displaying our flag. It is fairly obvious that these three flags are being displayed improperly (rather, desecrated), as a form of protest.

Our First Amendment does grant every citizen the freedom to say what they wish, within certain parameters.

We have a specific flag code — and most of it is common sense. What they do not realize is that no matter what their political beliefs are, they are not protesting our current political situation, but rather disrespecting the United States and the Constitution.

As a student, I have seen this on and around campus before, but never at a place so prominent where everyone could see it.

My purpose for writing this letter is to ask that the Technician run an article that properly educates the NCSU population about proper flag etiquette, and what should be appropriate forms of protest. Improper display of a U.S. Flag is not a form of protest — it's just disrespectful.

According to the United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag: "No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

I don't think Mitch's Tavern is experiencing "dire distress" or "extreme danger to life or property."

A lot of students frequent Mitch's Tavern. I think that the NCSU population should be aware of the blatant disrespect that Mitch's has done to our flag, and at least be aware that there are proper ways to display it.

As of January 2009, 4221 U.S. servicemen have died in Iraq. It doesn't matter what someone's view on politics is; if the flag is being disrespected, then those men and women are also being disrespected. I am extremely bothered by this.

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