Man Arrested For Hanging US Flag Upside Down In His Backyard

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Vietnam vet arrested for hanging US flag upside down

A 63-year-old Vietnam veteran was arrested at his home in Texas last week for committing the crime of flying the US flag upside down in his backyard. 

Homer Martz says he has never committed a crime in his life. However, he decided to protest against plans made by an oil company to build a pipeline through the middle of his property, by flying the US flag upside down as a sign of distress. reports:

Without his consent, through the process of eminent domain, Martz was told that he’d have to accept a portion of a 1,134-mile oil pipeline built by Texas-based Dakota Access LLC. The line would go right through the middle of his property between his home and his water well.

All Martz asked was that the company move the pipeline 150 feet over to avoid the potential danger of interfering with his water supply. But he was denied.

Martz didn’t grab an AR-15 and go shoot up a crowd, he didn’t even make a sign and protest city hall. Instead, this innocent man chose to make a statement at his own house. Martz hung his American flag upside down under a Chinese flag and wrote the following statement on his flag pole:

In China there is no freedom, no protesting, no due process. In Iowa? In America?

“About 11 o’clock two Calhoun County sheriffs walked up to my door,” Martz told the Messenger last week.

One of the officers was carrying his two flags.

“They said, ‘You can’t do this. We have a statute.’ I said I’m sorry but you shouldn’t have took them down,” he said. “So I walked back out and put them back up, and they arrested me.”

These brave public servants knew they were doing wrong, but they don’t make the laws, they just enforce them.

Under an Iowa statute, desecration of the flag is a simple misdemeanor, said Calhoun County Attorney Tina Meth-Farrington after Martz’ arrest. If convicted, Martz could be fined and face up to 30 days in jail.

Iowa code 718A makes it a misdemeanor to “publicly mutilate, deface, defile or defy, trample upon, cast contempt upon, satirize, deride or burlesque, either by words or act, such flag, standard, color, ensign, shield, or other insignia of the United States, or flag, ensign, great seal, or other insignia of this state,” among other things.

The good news is that these tyrants finally realized that they were breaking federal law by arresting Martz. In 2014, Iowa ruled the very law they used to arrest Martz unconstitutional. However, they never repealed it.

Meth-Farrington says sheriff’s deputies who charged Martz weren’t aware courts had struck down the law. She called on lawmakers to repeal it immediately “so that other citizens and law enforcement are not caught in this type of situation again.”

On Monday, all charges against Martz were dropped.

Land of the free?

Last month, we reported on a man from central Pennsylvania who was also kidnapped by police and deprived of his rights for doing nothing more than hanging an American flag upside down on his own property. Joshua Brubaker has since settled a civil rights lawsuit against the city for more than $55,000.

In the famous Supreme Court case of Texas v. Johnson in 1989, a five-justice majority ruled that desecrating the American flag was protected speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Despite this ruling, Americans from sea to shining sea continue to call for the arrest, or even death, of those who’d dare express their opinion through the use of the Old Glory.

The very essence of freedom is tolerating peaceful forms of expression, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel. Sadly missing the point, however, are folks who fail to understand that burning or desecrating a flag without fear of punishment from one’s government, is what liberty is all about.

When a society becomes more concerned with a piece of cloth than the freedom it is meant to represent, it’s time to wake up.

As a former member of the USMC, I am unoffended when I see flag set ablaze or stepped on or upside down — because I see it as an act of expression by a group who feels oppressed.

Those who feel oppressed must never be silenced.

Throughout history, the ‘patriotic’ majority has been responsible for most of the atrocities committed against our fellow humans. Only because of a handful of irate freedom loving individuals, unafraid to challenge the status quo, do we have any semblance of liberty in America today.

A true patriot is never a member of the majority who calls for their opposition to be silenced with State force because their views are ‘offensive.’ No, a true patriot is the one who refuses to be intimidated in the face of this violently obstinate collective.


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    • They’re a bunch of shysters that will steal all of your money.  You’re a criminal for posting their spam.

  2. Renegades, protesters and Muslims are defacing, degrading, burning, walking on, peeing on and destroying our flag every day, and they do nothing! A man, who has the right to feel the way he does, protests, not degrading our flag, but expressing his state of distress and they arrest him! Does this really make sense to anyone?

    • Does it make sense for the US Military terrorists to spend trillions of dollars to commit genocide against Muslims in the Middle East just to prop up the fossil fuel industry that is destroying the planet with global warming and pollution?

      They don’t hate our freedoms.  They hate our freedom to slaughter them and subject them to brutal regimes.

      We have met the terrorists, and they are US!

    • I just  read the First Amendment by searching online.  Freedom of expression is so basic to our country someone who do such things to flags aren’t insulting democracy; they are living it.  The First Amendment says that Congress shall never make a law against personal expression, as well as living their chosen religion.  This concept, this law, has been challenged many times and always the First Amendment keeps it legal.  How did a community make it illegal in their community?

    • The people have done absolutely nothing to stop the US Military from committing genocide in third world countries.  Obama is doing it in Libya right now, again.  Therefore, the people are indeed responsible.
      We have met the terrorists, and they are US!

  3. Protesters are burning our own flags right here in the streets of America and the police stand around and watch that but do nothing about it!!!!  This man make a statement and gets arrested and the others get off scott free!!!  WHAT THE HELL!!!!  DOUBLE STANDARD AS ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Did you not read the paragraph in the article that explained how burning the American Flag is protected by the First Amendment as Freedom of Speech?

    • If they burn it in the streets they are arsonist. Also you may want to read the flag code for how the flag is to be disposed of. You do have the right of expression but can we use that right to kill someone and simply say I was expressing myself to get away with it? Hanging it upside down is not protest it is giving a sign that you need help in an emergence. That is the alarm  and you should be arrested for false flag emergence display just like pulling the fire alarm when there is no fire. Casing panic.  Now you can express your self all you want but casing panic by setting off alarm is still illegal. Look at flag codes and you will understand why every day run on the mill people need not use the flag out of code. That is making it so it no longer has the effect that it should have when being hung for the purpose of the emergence that someone rightfully would hang it upside down for. It is like crying wolf and when there is none other then those that are so far away they are not admitted threat. Expression most come with out panic, harm are death of others.  That does not mean offending someone is illegal that is not only a form of expression that is something no one could help no matter who they are. What does not offend some can and will offend others there for you  could never stop offending someone and making laws to stop offending is then taking away freedom of expression they are offending those the laws were made to stop.  

  4. If it was truly something to be arrested about then they must have been really upset when the DNC convention had the American flag upside down on their big screen.  It was seen on national tv at the bottom clearly upside down.  Now that said the Dems are the ones creating all the stress in America by stirring up trouble everywhere.  

  5. Good on that True Patriot sticking up to Evil Conglomerates & a Corrupt Government that go’s Cap in Hand with Big Businesses & don’t bother or care about their Fellow Man they are more concerned in $$$$$$$$$s than people’s Lives give that Man a Medal.

  6. Defacing, degrading, burning, walking on, peeing on, and/or destroying the American Flag is not Free speech. It is hate speech which is against the law.

  7. I disagree with the Supreme Curt decision made in 1989.  Burning (or desecrating a flag) is NOT Freedom of Speech, it is an action!  Speech is words being uttered or writing, not other actions!!
    And hanging our flag upside down is NOT desecrating it, it is the symbol of distress!!  Has been been for hundreds of years!!

  8. Why is it that they do not arrest the muslims and black lives matter people when the stand on our flag or they burn them.. It looks like only white Americans can do wrong and get punished for it.. I have two American Flags flying on my building.. Old Glory fly’s free but there is one taped to the wall that is up side down.  It is a sign of distress and this country is in distress……God Bless this Once Great Cristian Nation… We need to take it back.

  9. Like Adl-Tabatabai I, too, am a veteran. I served under the same flag he did, and like him I admonish knee-jerk “patriots” who worship the flag, but detest what it represents to WAKE UP!

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