February 17, 2011

Demonstrating in the Capitol, with the American flag hung upside down.

P1060616

I don't know who put the flag like that, and I don't think most of those people posing around it realized they were part of a tableau of disrespect.

86 comments:

MisterBuddwing said...

Well, inasmuch as an upside-down Stars and Stripes is traditionally regarded as a distress signal, one could argue that the display is not patently disrespectful.

WV: ticis

holdfast said...

Oh, disrespect is their milieu, if not their tableau.

Anyone who has a child in the Wisconsin public school system should be seething right about now, or at least working on a very interesting set of questions for the next parent-teacher night.

Dose of Sanity said...

Unless, of course, Althouse, it was displayed in a fashion to make a political statement.

An upside down flag is meant to show distress. It is NOT a sign of disrespect.

Next time I won't make you this link, http://tinyurl.com/67cmltn.

Meade said...

It isn't just upside down. It's backwards.

Dose of Sanity said...

It isn't just upside down. It's backwards.

Which is how it is to be flown on a mast to show distress. (the Stars will always be on the mast side (as that's there the "holes" are to thread the flag). Really..google and basic deduction can be your friend.

Ann Althouse said...

"Unless, of course, Althouse, it was displayed in a fashion to make a political statement."

No. I assume it's a political statement -- a statement of disrespect for the United States.

Ann Althouse said...

"Really..google and basic deduction can be your friend."

I read some of those articles. This isn't a ship in distress. It's an appropriation of our national symbol to make a political statement. I'm very familiar with this from the 1960s.

Dose of Sanity said...

"Unless, of course, Althouse, it was displayed in a fashion to make a political statement."

No. I assume it's a political statement -- a statement of disrespect for the United States.


Please look it up. An upside down flag is NOT a sign of disrespect, it's a sign of distress.

I'm not saying that's what happened here - but as Meade noted, albeit unintentionally, they've put it in the position it should be to signal distress.

Maguro said...

Good lord, what a bunch of pampered little drama queens.

Dose of Sanity said...

Using the flag to signal distress as a function of free speech? Perhaps Wisconsin is the figurative ship?

Stay the course and all, what?

I don't take that as disrespectful, at all. I'm surprised you do.

JAL said...

Idiots.

Honest to pete total idiots.

And these are your *teachers* ???

Distress. Disrespect. Somehow I think they are trying to convey both.

Idiots.

Ann Althouse said...

"Using the flag to signal distress as a function of free speech? Perhaps Wisconsin is the figurative ship?"

It's a choice to appropriate the symbol in a way that I don't think most Americans will appreciate. If you think otherwise, I think you are in a left-wing cocoon. Let's see what other commenters say.

Revenant said...

Please look it up. An upside down flag is NOT a sign of disrespect, it's a sign of distress.

It is both, obviously.

Dose of Sanity said...

My apologies Althouse and Meade. My posts were needlessly venomous.

I reacted strongly to the tableau of disrespect comment - my response was hasty.

Jay Retread said...

Sanity, give it up. Ann is not interested in honest debate. She just wants to throw red meat to her half dozen groupies. It is her schtick.

Dose of Sanity said...

It is both, obviously.

And you obviously didn't look it up. :)

peter hoh said...

Maybe it was hung upside down by a plant who wanted to discredit the protesters.

TJ said...

Hold fast, Governor.

Though, I wouldn't really mind the alternative, 6-12 thousand of these assholes fired to balance the budget.

JAL said...

The United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Statute 176, paragraph a states "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."

If state and federal governments do not stop spending money we do not have we will be in more distress than having to cut back on eating out.

Dose of Sanity said...

It's a choice to appropriate the symbol in a way that I don't think most Americans will appreciate. If you think otherwise, I think you are in a left-wing cocoon. Let's see what other commenters say.

Ad Hominem and Appeal to Popularity. Lovely.

You can do better than two logical fallacies as a response, Althouse. I know it.

Meade said...

Dose of Sanity said...
My apologies Althouse and Meade.

Apologies accepted.

Dose of Sanity said...

Meade.

Apologies accepted.


*nod* My thanks.

Fen said...

It's a choice to appropriate the symbol in a way that I don't think most Americans will appreciate.

I certainly don't. As a member of the military, I'm trained to view that as a genuine distress signal.

Its like using 9-1-1 as a political prop.

Meade said...

peter hoh said...
Maybe it was hung upside down by a plant who wanted to discredit the protesters.

You mean like a Dieffenbachia?

Fen said...

Dose of Sanity: "They put onions on my BigMac again. Time to hoist my distress signal"

Eric said...

Well, inasmuch as an upside-down Stars and Stripes is traditionally regarded as a distress signal, one could argue that the display is not patently disrespectful.

If one were arguing in bad faith. That's not the crew of a ship asking for aid. That's just a crowd of people taking a (paid) day off to demand more slop in the trough.

Dose of Sanity said...

Dose of Sanity: "They put onions on my BigMac again. Time to hoist my distress signal"

Straw man.

Also, I'm a vegetarian. :)

As an aside - does anyone object to tea partiers wearing the flag as clothing? cape/shirt/etc. That's [technically] disrespectful every time. Thoughts?

Republican said...

Maybe it was the guy standing there with his hand on it.

Ugh.

Dose of Sanity said...

Maybe it was the guy standing there with his hand on it.

Agreed on that at least. It's not something to prop yourself on.

Palladian said...

One of the reasons I hate protests of any kind: one becomes associated with the lowest and basest sentiments expressed at the protest.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Dose, you might want to consider denotation vs. connotation. Regardless of what the statute says, a large subset of the population will see this as disrespectful. And I hazard a guess that a large number of the protestors see it that way. That's what Professor Althouse alluded to, but you seemed to miss: when this same symbol was used in Vietnam War protests, it was consciously used as a sign of disrespect. She was there. She remembers.

Public opinion isn't swayed by definitional games nearly as much as it's swayed by image and symbols and connotations. This just looks bad.

But I'll cut some slack for the guys with their hands on it. When I saw it, it looked to me like they were holding it up, not leaning on it.

Sofa King said...

It's disrespectful in its hyperbole. It would be like portraying yourselves as holocaust victims.

Fen said...

Dose of Sanity: "They put onions on my BigMac again. Time to hoist my distress signal"

Dose of Sanity: Straw man.

Nope. Your argument is that the flag is to be used that way when you are "distressed".

Dose of Sanity said...

Nope. Your argument is that the flag is to be used that way when you are "distressed".

Nope - and re characterizing my argument is WHY that's a straw man.

@Martin: Fair point - I wasn't aware of it's prior use as intentional sign of disrespect. Still, a lot of this may depend on the INTENT of the of the one who hung the flag. It's also quite possible he's an idiot and just hung it upside down on accident.

Dose of Sanity said...

It's disrespectful in its hyperbole. It would be like portraying yourselves as holocaust victims.

I'd have to disagree on both counts.

vnjagvet said...

It's not a straw man, dose. ISTM it is a satyrical reductio ad absurdum

Just Lurking said...

Maybe it was hung upside down by a plant who wanted to discredit the protesters.

If this were a Tea Party rally, those who saw it would demand it be turned around the right way. What's their excuse?

But nice try. ;)

Palladian said...

"peter hoh said... Maybe it was hung upside down by a plant who wanted to discredit the protesters.

Meade said... You mean like a Dieffenbachia?
"

More likely Sansevieria trifasciata. Those sneaky bastards are always trying to discredit me.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Dose, connotation is in the eye of the beholder, not the intent of the presenter. Smart protestors play to the populace and the decision makers, not to the protestors; and they try to police their image to maximum effect. Somebody there should've looked at this and said, "Bad imagery, guys."

peter hoh said...

I'll take "Die, effin bachia!" for $100.

shiloh said...

No. I assume it's a political statement -- a statement of disrespect for the United States.

No, the protesters are just totally pissed re: WI's Rep governor ~ kinda like the American revolutionaries were totally pissed w/King George III and showed him his due respect.

Coincidentally, the U.S. Constitution covers such doctrines as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and I may not agree w/said speech but I will fight to the death defending those ideals.

ok, that's a gross exaggeration/hyperbole like Ann's:

a statement of disrespect for the United States.

btw, many viewed the Vietnam War protest differently depending on their political end of the spectrum, eh ~ and as a USN veteran who voted for McGovern in '72 and was told by ailes/safire/agnew/nixon to "love America or leave it" unfortunately for conservatives, because I did indeed, love America, I stayed.

One man's patriotism is another man's anarchy!

that is all ...

Sofa King said...

No, the protesters are just totally pissed re: WI's Rep governor ~ kinda like the American revolutionaries were totally pissed w/King George III and showed him his due respect.

Well, that's an idiotic way to express it. What does the US flag in particular have to do with the Wisconsin state governor?

Lem said...

Let's see what other commenters say.

I think its offensive to show the flag in that manner while our sons and daughters are being ask to put their lives on the line to defend it in Iraq and Afghanistan.. not to mention that it is being done in the name of a wage dispute..

You would think the justification for that display would merit true distress.. a life threatening distress.. a wage dispute is not.

shiloh said...

I think its offensive to show the flag in that manner while our sons and daughters are being ask to put their lives on the line to defend it in Iraq

I think it's offensive/obscene cheney/bush ever put U.S. soldiers/marines/sailors in harm's way in Iraq to begin with ...

And yes, I'm really, really disappointed Obama has decided to keep troops in Afghanistan.

Life is full of disappointments!

btw, while serving in the USN, Reagan was my C-in-C from 1981-1988 even though I didn't vote for him ~ no biggie as democracy is not perfect and can indeed, be very, very messy ...

Interesting Bush43 has decided not to go to Switzerland because he may be arrested for war crimes!

and so it goes ...

Seven Machos said...

Interesting Bush43 has decided not to go to Switzerland because he may be arrested for war crimes

Please show up where any former president of the United States -- or anyone at all -- has stated that he or she will not enter Switzerland or any other country for fear of arrest for war crimes.

You cannot make such a showing. You are a liar, an idiot, and a tool.

shiloh said...

SM

Use the google ie bush/Switzerland.

btw, didn't say bush said/stated anything but, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck ...

take care, blessings

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"Using the flag to signal distress as a function of free speech? Perhaps Wisconsin is the figurative ship?"

It's a choice to appropriate the symbol in a way that I don't think most Americans will appreciate. If you think otherwise, I think you are in a left-wing cocoon. Let's see what other commenters say.

Althouse, I think you're pretty left of me and I'm pretty much guaranteed to not reside in a left-wing cocoon. I agree it's used as a distress signal. Their salaries are in danger. You protest too much.

Seven Machos said...

Use the google ie bush/Switzerland

You really believe that Switzerland -- a neutral country, no less -- would arrest an American citizen for American foreign policy?

Hilarious. Touchingly stupid. Sad. Deluded.

shiloh said...

You protest too much.

The problem w/political discourse in this country in a nutshell w/24/7 ad nauseam cable media minutia/internet/twitter ie

If you don't say something "out there" er outrageous/stupid no one pays any attention which leads to over-the-top nonsensical hyperbole ie limbo, beck, hannity, billo, palin, bachmann, olbermann, stewart/colbert, althouse.

Everyone has to have there own narcissistic niche lol as there's a reason WWE RAW has larger ratings than fixednoise ~ it's more entertaining!

This is not rocket science ...

apologies to stewart/colbert ;)

Seven Machos said...

If you don't say something "out there" er outrageous/stupid no one pays any attention which leads to over-the-top nonsensical hyperbole

...Like, for example, suggesting that a former United States president will be arrested because of United States foreign policy if he enters historically neutral Switzerland? Sort of like that kind of stupid statement?

former law student said...

I see in the current emergency, the Professor loses her collective bargaining rights, too.

What a bunch of saps those teachers are, protesting to preserve Ann Althouse's collective bargaining rights. She doesn't need their help and never did.

If Walker terminates her, she can always get a good job at another, non-state law school. (Hiring will be frozen at the state schools). Or she can live on her pension, until another emergency comes up and Walker decides the state has to keep a lot of what she thought was her money. Or she can live off Meade's income.

Impact of proposed law:
* COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. Make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the CPI unless approved by referendum. Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until a new contract is settled. Collective bargaining units are required to take annual votes to maintain certification as a union. Employers would be prohibited from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units would not be required to pay dues. Changes effective upon expiration of existing contracts. Law enforcement, fire employees and state troopers and inspectors would be exempt from the changes.
* CAREER EXECUTIVE TRANSFERS. Allow state employees in the career executive positions to be reassigned between agencies upon agreement of agency heads.
* LIMITED TERM EMPLOYEES. Prohibit LTEs from being eligible for health insurance or participation in the WRS.
* STATE EMPLOYEE ABSENCES AND OTHER WORK ACTIONS. Authorizes appointing agencies to terminate any employees that are absent for three days without approval of the employer or any employees participating in an organized action to stop or slow work if the governor has declared a state of emergency.
* QUALITY HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY. Repeals the authority of home health care workers under the Medicaid program to collectively bargain.
* CHILD CARE LABOR RELATIONS. Repeals the authority of family child care workers to collectively bargain with the state.
* UW HOSPITALS AND CLINICS BOARD AND AUTHORITY. Repeals collective bargaining for UWHC employees. State positions currently employed by the UWHC are eliminated and incumbents are transferred to the UWHC Authority.
* UW FACULTY AND ACADEMIC STAFF. Repeals authority of UW faculty and academic staff to collectively bargain.


It's good to be a Republican my friends.

shiloh said...

SM, your beating a dead horse notwithstanding, Bush canceled his trip as the proof is in the pudding. Plus it behooves one not to go where one is unwelcome, eh.

Which begs the question ?!? where the hell should cheney/bush go lol

The Iraqi people prepare for Bush's next visit!

ciao

Seven Machos said...

The funny thing, dude who says Bush is going to get arrested for war crimes, is that you don't have any idea how absurd and stupid you sound.

I love kooks like you, though. Tell us: Under which Swiss law would President Bush be charged? What government entity in Switzerland claims jurisdiction to make arrests in such matters? Which criminal court in Switzerland would hear such a case?

shiloh said...

I love kooks like you, though.

Well, you certainly are obsessed w/me!

take care

Ut said...

"I don't think most of those people posing around it realized they were part of a tableau of disrespect."

The people posing around it are an angry mob of socialist union thugs. And you think they respect our flag?

The only surprising bit is that they weren't fucking burning it.

tim maguire said...

As I often argued back in the elder Bush days, if the flag doesn't stand for your right to burn the flag, then it doesn't stand for anything.

I think "distress" fits in with the theme of the protests (although you could argue that their real claim is either that there is no serious distress in the land or they should be exempt from the program to relieve that distress).

I'd be more bothered by this if it were unintentional, but if they meant to do it, fine.

edutcher said...

IIRC, displaying the flag in that fashion is illegal.

Dose of Sanity said...

Unless, of course, Althouse, it was displayed in a fashion to make a political statement.

An upside down flag is meant to show distress. It is NOT a sign of disrespect.


Like Hell. It's been a symbol of disrespect since the hard core Lefties began doing it 40 years ago.

Jay said...

This isn't a ship in distress.

Well, I can see how these union slugs feel that it is!

SGT Ted said...

Look at all the pigs lined up at the trough, afraid the corn is going to stop coming.

SGT Ted said...

Distress mean imminent danger. The flag upside down is a signal for help, because life and limb are in danger.

Not "Where's my check?"

Their use of the flag is for partisan political purposes, not a signal for help, because none of those fat fucks is in any danger whatsoever.

Call in the Guard and clear them out.

Paco Wové said...

Because non-union public employees == END OF THE REPUBLIC!!11!!

Shheesh, Althouse, you're so slow sometimes!

SGT Ted said...

NO private Corporation, which is what Unions are, has any right whatsoever to public money.

If the Military can function without a union, so can all the rest of the people who work in Government.

mrs whatsit said...

And that guy in the picture casually propping himself up with his hand on the flag -- the one wearing a hat indoors -- no disrespect there, no sir! He's got distress written all over him. Poor, poor man . . .

SGT Ted said...

Tell me again how Democrats respect Democracy? I like Fairy tales.

tree hugging sister said...

No. I assume it's a political statement -- a statement of disrespect for the United States.

Oh, yeah, it is.

Aren't they so educated and clever.

David said...

I think the disrespect is pretty clear. They do not care.

And by the way, if the Tea Partiers had determined to fill the capitol building and stop all activity, what would the media reaction have been.

Michael said...

"And by the way, if the Tea Partiers had determined to fill the capitol building and stop all activity, what would the media reaction have been."

Why the media would have stopped to presses to bring truth to power, to expose the tea partiers for what they are: fools with signs urging violence, signs illustrating the hanging of an elected official, heaps of trash left behind, misspelled signs, ignorant people exposed with loaded interview questions, signs everywhere of racism (see any black faces in those videos? see any black senior union officials?)

Sixty Grit said...

Did Ritmo Montana Jungle whatever catch a dose? Based on the frequency and the content of Dose's posts, one might assume they are the same leftist shill.

And, in response to the comment, the protesters are spoiled commie brats living in a cocoon. But we knew that.

They can't even clean up after themselves.

E.M. Davis said...

Their salaries are in danger.

Yeah, they've got a regular Bataan on their hands.

MadisonMan said...


It's a choice to appropriate the symbol in a way that I don't think most Americans will appreciate. If you think otherwise, I think you are in a left-wing cocoon. Let's see what other commenters say.

Most Americans is not the same as other commenters.

Yes.

MadisonMan said...

That should have been Yet. Not Yes.

Henry said...

My question is this: Why the U.S. Flag? Did Arne Duncan get on their bad side too?

Fen said...

Their salaries are in danger.

So they cry wolf.


Operator: "911. Whats your emergency?"

Union Thug: "I ordered a BigMac with no onions - this little Hitler is endangering my lunch hour"

Bernie said...

Why are they all wearing red?

MadisonMan said...

Bernie, what are the UW's colors?

Charlie Martin said...

Maybe it was hung upside down by a plant who wanted to discredit the protesters.

If so, Peter, then the plant hung it upseide down, and all the thousands of other protestors were either (a) too stupid to notice; (2) too uneducated to recognize the issue, or (c) file with it. It's not like there's no one else there.

Charlie Martin said...

Augh. "Fine with it."

Drew said...

I don't think most of those people posing around it realized they were part of a tableau of disrespect.

I don't think they care.

We've come a long way from a time when people considered such things as common respect.

shiloh said...

Interesting AA hasn't returned to this thread which is (((very wise))) of her to cut and run ...

Much like Reagan did in Beirut, Lebanon after terrorists killed (241) American military personnel.

carry on

edutcher said...

Shiloh must be channeling the shade of Albert Sidney Johnston, rather than Hiram Grant and Tecumseh Sherman.

We were another year in Beirut before we left.

He also better watch out what he gloats about. If Ann decided to come back and confront him, he'd know how Beauregard felt after Uncle Billy held firm and Buell brought up his army.

shiloh said...

edutcher, I'll take it under advisement as internet blogging can be a contact sport, or so they say.

btw, being from Ohio am quite familiar w/Grant and his buddy W.T. ~ plus my dad was a Civil War buff(expert).

War is all hell and peacetime is a motherf.....

take care

former law student said...

Under which Swiss law would President Bush be charged? What government entity in Switzerland claims jurisdiction to make arrests in such matters?

The Swiss incorporated aut dedere aut judicare into their penal code in 2009.

Which criminal court in Switzerland would hear such a case?

If Bush were arrested for committing war crimes, the Swiss would turn him over for trial in the International Criminal Court.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- You are not a fool. You do not believe that Swiss police or military would capture a former American president and send him to the Netherlands.

Why do you persist in fiction?

UWman said...

The flag represents distress. People may have different views and ways of defining distress, so it DOESN'T have to mean it's a life or death situation. So many things are on the line right now in Wisconsin. If this bills goes through, the education will suck. Look at the 5 states that don't have collective bargaining! They are the LAST 5 on the list for the quality of education in the U.S., while Wisconsin is #2 (tied with MN) and Iowa is #1. Get rid of it and BAM, we fall down the list big time. Wages will also be cut, meaning the working middle class will spend less and save more so they won't be stimulating the economy.

To me, that's enough to call the situation distressful.

UWman said...

And that's also part of my rationale for hanging the flag!

I do not care if you disagree with me. My logic is clear.

UWman said...

I can also assume that anyone that says hanging the American flag upside down is disrespectful and that it is not a sign of distress lives in one of those 5 states where education sucks [or else you would've known that], you feeble minded fools!! >.>