Inverting the US Flag – What Does It Mean?

Anti-Americans invert flag  at pro-illegal immigration rally

Anti-Americans invert flag
at pro-illegal immigration rally

Many will tell you that an upside down American flag means “the country is in distress.” The US Flag Code allows this use of the flag in situations of “dire distress,” but the intention was distress as in immediate danger to life and limb, such as your ship is sinking at sea, an SoS signal. It does not explicitly sanction use of the flag in this way at political rallies, where no person or property is in any real immediate distress or danger. This is a political extension of the meaning and therefore not in accordance with the flag code. It is just gratuitous abuse of the flag, in order to express a political message.

adjective \ˈdΔ«(-Ι™)r\
: very bad : causing great fear or worry
: warning of disaster : showing a very bad future
: requiring immediate action : very urgent

Klansmen protest Obama election in 2008

Klansmen protest Obama election in 2008

Nazis, the KKK and other such subversive groups have long been flying the flag upside down as a symbol of their goal of overturning the current constitutional republican system. Symbols often have dual meanings, one that is told to the general public and another subversive meaning, known to a smaller group of insiders.

Inverting a symbol normally means the negation or destruction of that which the symbol represents. So, an inverted American flag is ambiguous and can either represent a SoS signal of distress or a symbol of opposition and destruction of the system. It can have both meanings to different people at the same time. So, there is a possibility for an inverted American flag to be used to send a covert signal.

The image below,from the documentary “Nazis in America: A Secret History,” was taken in 1999 at Richard Butler’s Aryan Nation compound in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. (Click the photo below to go to the documentary.) Notice the Nazi flag is higher than the original American colonial (Betsy Ross) flags, some of them inverted. Butler taught that the Founders had established an Aryan nation. So, in this case, the meaning of the inverted flag can be taken to be the Aryan Nation is in distress. To non-insiders, it could mean the American republic is in distress.

Neo-Nazis fly inverted American flags, as a

Neo-Nazis in Idaho fly inverted American colonial flags in 1999 as a “distress signal.”

It was the Nazis/KKK, who started using the flag in this way. Some Tea Partiers have evidently copied it and started abusing the flag themselves in this way. At best, it is a confusing and obnoxious symbol that associates the user with Nazis, communists and anarchists. It is an odd form of protest that provokes mostly veterans and patriots, not Obama supporters or leftists. It does not bother Obama and his supporters at all, if his opponents abuse the American flag in their protests. They do not respect the flag, either.

Of course, most Tea Partiers are not intentionally abusing the flag, but it is still disrespectful of the flag to use it for a narrow political cause. Fly the flag with respect in a way that cannot be misinterpreted and assigned perverse meaning or don’t fly it at all. The flag is the symbol of our Nation and should not be cheapened by using it to send your own personal messages. Why would any true American patriot want to use the very same symbol, of which there is a long-standing tradition of its use as a symbol of anti-Americanism and the destruction of America???

Occupiers fly desecrated American flag with Marxist and anarchist flags

Occupiers fly desecrated American flag with Marxist and anarchist flags

If you are using the same symbol as anti-American Jihadists, illegal-immigration advocates, Mexican nationalist reconquistas, communist occupiers, Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, maybe you should re-consider your choice of symbols?

Mexican flag flown over inverted American flag

Mexican flag flown over inverted American flag

Jihadists disrespect inverted US flag in embassy takeover

Islamists destroy inverted US flag
in embassy takeover in Egypt

Iranians desecrate US flag

Iranians desecrate modified US flag with only 14 stars


Warning: Profuse use of profane language.

If you don’t want to be chased down by a US Marine and combat veteran, just do not abuse the flag by flying it upside down. Too many saw their friends and fellow soldiers die or be horribly wounded fighting for what that flag symbolizes.

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16 Responses to Inverting the US Flag – What Does It Mean?

    • Miss Anti-colonial Badass says:

      Proud “Americans” should go %&*$ themselves, along with any other nationalists from anywhere in the world β€”as if the rest of the peoples living in this lands (incluiding central and south Americas) since thousands of years, where “not Americans”…. No symbol is worth more than any single life on earth. Except those of proud fascists defending war, exclusion and genocide, of course.

      • Steve the Observer says:

        Quite the attitude, jealousy is not attractive. For what it’s worth, Americans are $@!!’ing themselves by economically destroying themselves via the communistic leaders they’ve been electing the past few years and bringing third world, never successful before left-wing policies. You should be happy about that at least…

  1. Emma P says:

    I am a firm be liver that the flag should not be displayed with the union down. Proud Americans should not use it as a sign of their own opinion. There are other forums for this. Please act accordingly if you are a U.S. citizen. Be proud not a coward.

  2. Pingback: What Does The Nazis Symbol Mean | Razeeti4

  3. Ken Justis says:

    The country we live in is upside down. With the elitist political class dictating to we the people. Making laws with out of thin air with no thought to how we the people feel. We the people are suppose to run this country and they are suppose to do our bidding. In stead they sell us out to become millionaires. Gay marriage,transgender restrooms and race baiting this what they give us. And show me anywhere in the constitution where it states separation of church and state. Oh you can’t then my flag will continue to fly upside down.

    • Admin says:

      Few people fly the flag upside down any longer. Guess most people are getting the message. It’s a totally asinine thing to do. Fly the flag correctly, or don’t fly it at all.

      • T Mack Jones says:

        That’s my preference too. I took mine down, folded it correctly, and tucked it safely in a drawer. Some day I may have the heart to fly it again, if and when our democracy is ever restored. I leave the flagpole empty in protest.

      • Admin says:

        That would seem rather counter-productive not to fly the flag. Don’t see any point at all in that. If you are going to protest do a real protest. Don’t abuse the flag as a protest and don’t hide your flag.

    • Kai says:

      A requirement of separation of church and state comes directly from the First Right in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And you might want to keep the second paragraph of Article 6 in mind as well; it’s such a nice complement to the 10th amendment. After all, the 9th makes it a legal requirement for ALL citizens to not only know their rights, but use them to the best of their abilities.

      • Yappy says:

        Interesting. How do you get a “separation of church and state,” out of the statement that, “β€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Clearly, that is saying that “Congress,” not citizens, not individuals, are not to establish a religion, but also, are not to prohibit the ability to freely exercise our faith.

  4. Dianne brown says:

    I was driving down hwy 5 near eugene oregon and saw someone right off the hwy flying two American flags upside down. Just wondering what that meant.

    • Admin says:

      It means someone is having a crisis. In liberal Eugene it might mean that someone is in a panic about Trump. In general, it’s an obnoxious way to communicate a message and abuse of the flag and often has been used by people, who hate America.

  5. Brad says:

    On January 20th, I will display my flag upside down until the threat to our nation is removed from office.

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