Summerville flag display sparks patriotism debate - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Summerville flag display sparks patriotism debate

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By Ava Wilhite
awilhite@abcnews4.com

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) - Orangeburg Road in Summerville gets a lot of traffic. People driving up and down the road pass by several houses every day. Like many houses in the area an American flag flies on the outside, but this flag hangs upside down.  

"I thought it was un-patriotic, normally the flag is flown right side up, when it's flown upside down it's just a symbol of -- it's not patriotic," said Patricia Profit, who was shocked to see flag flown upside down. "To me it means that they don't love the United States. They are not part of America. And that they are picketing or just don't want to be a part of the United States."

Travis May said he and his wife have passed by the house and upside down flag many times because they wanted to make sure their eyes weren't playing tricks on them.

"To me it's kind of like, uh, putting a bull's-eye on your back. You are asking for trouble," said May.  

We attempted to contact the homeowner to find out why the flag is upside down but no one answered the door.

"It's pretty offensive -- No. 1 the American flag is not supposed to be flown under any other flag and to fly it upside down, to fly it upside down it signals surrender or something, so yeah it's pretty offensive," said May.

According to the website UShistory.org, the flag code lists how and where the American flag should be displayed. An upside down flag signals dire distress and extreme danger to life or property.

"I imagine whoever is displaying the flag unless it was just a blatant mistake is trying to make a statement of some kind, saying something like shame on you America," said James McGarrity, a former Marine and Vietnam War veteran who flies two American flags in his yard.

"It's not offensive, I just have to wonder. I have to wonder where a lot of people's heads are at today, with what they are thinking about," said McGarrity.

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