Veterans respond to upside down flags

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Their eyes have seen war, but some East Texas veterans say this particular display is a bit much. Brothers, Ron and Lenard Fleming say they're flying their flags upside down because the country is in distress.

"[The country has] been in distress ever since I been born," said Elbert Johnson, Jr., an ex-Marine. "Goin' stay in there until Jesus comes back again. Hang it up right if you're going to hang it, or leave it where it is."

"To me, it seems like somebody doesn't like the United States," said Gene Williams, a WWII veteran.

British military veteran, Ruth Smiley, served during World War II.

"It's an insult," said Smiley. "It's an insult to the country."

"It does not mean dishonor," said Dennis Holland, a Vietnam Army veteran. "It does not mean protest."

Holland says he agrees 100% with the Fleming brothers and says he plans to fly his own flag upside down. In an email, he charges every veteran to do the same.

"What these guys are saying is not, 'We don't care, it's not important...that people are fighting and dying,'" said Holland. "What they're saying is the country's in trouble. This is a peaceful demonstration. America needs help."

"I'm not in agreement with many of the things that are being proposed," said Fred Carl. "We have a mechanism to work that out with our government."

"There are other ways to express our displeasure and the proper way is in the voting booth," said John Sweet, a Korean War veteran.

All for the stars and stripes, or stripes and stars depending on how you hang them.

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