Out in rural North Carolina, life moves a little slower, and folks are a little more old fashioned. Yep, out in Buncombe County, things haven’t changed much since the days when America was charmed by the antics of the Mayberry Sheriff’s Department each week. So naturally when some hippies (probably city folk) decided to fly their American flag upside down, well, those small town cops moseyed over there to see what the fuss was about, then beat the shit out of them…. Buncombe County hasn’t seen this much excitement since a goat swallowed some dynamite last Fall.
Most of us recognize that flying a flag upside down is the international extreme distress signal. I use it myself here at TPRS as a form of protest over the direction this country is headed. Other Americans have actually flown their flags upside down as their own personal form of protest. Whether this is “correct”, or “proper flag etiquette” is something I’ll leave to people with more time on their hands than I possess. As a protest, though, it should be considered as a form of free speech and expression. If memory serves, this sort of thing is guaranteed by the First Amendment….or did I miss the part where the Bush Administration merely abrogated “inconvenient” parts of the Constitution?
Mark and Deborah Kuhn were merely exercising their First Amendment rights to make their own statement. That they chose to do so by flying their flag upside down is indicative of nothing sinister, inappropriate, or un-American. Apparently, a couple of overzealous county Mounties didn’t quite agree with the Kuhn’s interpretation of the First Amendment’s provisions.
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office arrested activists Mark and Deborah Kuhn in West Asheville Wednesday morning after a complaint that the couple was desecrating an American flag. They say a deputy invaded their home and used excessive force. [The photo at right, taken by a neighbor, shows Mark on the ground, with Deborah standing by, during the arrest.]
The flag was hung upside down as an act of protest and had several statements pinned to it, including a picture of President Bush with the words “Out Now” upon it and one explaining the meaning of the upside down flag, a sign of distress.
The Kuhns, along with several neighbors and witnesses, assert that a sheriff’s deputy violently invaded their home at 68 Brevard Road. The sheriff’s office claims that the couple assaulted deputy Brian Scarborough and resisted arrest.
According to the report from the sheriff’s office, Scarborough arrived at the home at 8:45 a.m. in response to a complaint about the desecration of a flag.
So of course, Deputy Scarborough, brave defender of the Realm that he is, did what needed to be done and beat the $#!& out of the Kuhns. After all, REAL Americans would know enough to keep their treasonous thoughts and actions to themselves.
Then again, this should hardly be taken as an indictment of free speech rights. The lesson to be learned from this story is that ANY American is free to speak out and express themselves…as long as their opinion is supportive of Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © and his Glorious and Excellent Adventure in Iraq.
You see? Free Speech! Don’tcha just LOVE America??