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.

Respectful flag symbolism

If you use a black and white flag, though, it would not be disrespectful to the US flag and would not represent destruction of America, because it would not be the actual US flag. The black color would further symbolize your mourning. Black and white flags are available on Amazon for only about $6. Why not use that instead? It does not send a confusing, potentially, anti-American message and would not be likely to anger veterans.

adjective \ˈdī(-ə)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.


Trump Supporters Abuse, Deface American Flag

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

  1. Admin says:

    Reblogged this on Stop Obama Now!!.

    • Miss Anti-colonial Badass says:

      Proud “Americans” should go %&*$ themselves, along with any other nationalists from anywhere in the world —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…

      • Anonymous says:

        Communists have killed more people in wars and genocidal programs than anyone.

      • Jerry Thomson says:

        You proud fascists defending war, exclusion and genocide, should die under your symbols. So missy do the right thing and go buy some drugs and overdose and get some for your friends and have a goodbye party.

        Proud Veteran

  2. 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.

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  4. 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.

      • Matt says:

        Yes because most of us patriotic people who bleed red, white and blue have all the time in the world to protest the direction this country is heading in. I’m not a 20 something oppressed, whiny, entitled little shit living off of my parents. I have a career. This is the only time I would ever agree with that class but if I wanted to fly the flag upside down to demonstrate my views towards where I believe the country will be in 10-15 years. The biggest problem with this entire argument is the fact that a DIRE or DIRECT THREAT TO LIFE is something that would be remedied or corrected immediately. When issues like the countless ones this country faces fester and progress over time, no one acts, therefore the problem, once its actually realized, has grown into something that can now not be stopped. So you tell me… which is more dangerous to our way of life? Direct/Immediate threats or threats that progress over time?

    • 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, ““Congress 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.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree, whereas the correct meaning of an UPSIDE DOWN FLAG has to do with DISTRESS, wherein some may imply whatever they want, but it does represent DISTRESS, and what used in the past for a fort in distress, or a ship in distress, but at this time more importantly, THIS NATION IS IN DISTRESS, if anyone says otherwise, then that just goes to confirm my comment, we have people who do not understand what is truly taking place in this country, and would prefer insults over facts

  5. 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.

      • abaraba says:

        No matter what symbol of protest is employed, those who define themselves as “patriots” will make a claim that it is invalid. Some simply don’t accept dissent to their point of view, and any such dissent is defined as “unpatriotic,” “weak,” or illegitimate. No one has a monopoly on “patriotism.”

  6. Brad says:

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

  7. Nicole Nicoletti says:


  8. larry abel says:

    We the people it is our flag as a vet I know and so does any one with a brain our country has never been in more danger than now. My flag stays upside down as long as my country stays upside down.

  9. Michael says:

    I am not a member of any political party, the KKK, Nazi party, and I do not have an agenda.

    I am a member of a charitable organization whi has voted recently to include the American flag on their uniforms. I am personally going through my own period of dire distress. Dire as you define it in this article. Would it be acceptable that I use sew the patch on my uniform upside down? If not, why? I am in dire distress so I am not afraid chased down by a US Marine and combat veteran, after death by veteran might be what I need.

    I might have to quit the group if I cannot wer the flag upside down and I do not want to give up our mission.

    Thanks for you time and response to my concern.

    • Admin says:

      You don’t need my approval. I said it already in the post. In my opinion, it’s abuse of the flag to use it that way for someone’s petty political cause.

      • Brandon says:

        I’m a marine, and I totally understand why some people would fly it upside down. I don’t condone it, but in a country where the people are now godless, and treat each other like shit, where there are so many agendas, and such a great race for every country to get to the technological and spy world top, it may be necessary. You flying your flag upside down isn’t going to get anything accomplished because we aren’t shit. We don’t matter to anyone but our families and friends if you have them. The government and independent agencies that corrupt everything don’t care about you at the slightest. If you need to die or give your life for anything they need to accomplish they will take it without asking. I signed up when I was 17 because of 9/11. Let me tell you, not one person I have met since hasn’t made me regret serving.

  10. Mike says:

    Crisis… Martial law puts the constitution on hold… Lincoln did this. The constitution is a RESTRAINT on the Federal Government, and since the Civil War, THEY have legally done whatever they want to do, while leaving the ignorant PUBLIC to argue over something that is a MOOT POINT… ie., We are NO LONGER UNDER CONSTITUTIONAL RULE OF LAW… Think ILLEGAL WARS, ILLEGAL CURRENCY, ILLEGAL TREATIES, and UCC ILLEGITIMATE LAW… all because the Constitution is STILL NOT LEGALLY BINDING. So, all the “patriotism”, emotional responses, and blind faith in an IDEA that has NO LEGAL BEARING WHATSOEVER… No Constitutional restraint on those murdering, illegitimate, power hungry sociopaths leading the “Nation”… By the way, destroy the borders of a country, and remove it’s constitution…. and WHY NOT SIGNAL DISTRESS??? Just stating FACTS, and objectively considering them.

  11. Leonard A . Zaragoza says:

    I am a Vietnam veteran and I fly my flags upside down . We have a draft dodging, lying coward in office . Who blatantly and with out respect called a Vietnam prisoner of war a coward for getting caught the enemy while the coward was comfortable here at home cheating on his wife . Many veterans support this. Coward in office . Have you forgotten the unspoken pledge “ defend a brother in arms “

  12. Flying the flag upside down is not a sign of disrespect. What they do with it may be like in most of those pictures. And like those beanogs flying their flag right side up above it!? I would tear that down and burn there flag. But I currently fly my flag upside down during this Plannedemic as the Republic is truly in distress. And that’s what the inverted flag is meant to be. It is a call to arms to our fellow patriots as far as can be seen. Our liberties are being destroyed daily by commies that hold office trying to subvert the nation because we were turning the damage done by globalists over several decades. This has clearly been their nuclear option as they watched so many of their base jumping ship. I hate to say it, but I believe there were people in office that knew well ahead of time this was coming. There were so many signs of trying to weaken the states and towns before this lock-down. VA – NY – CA all some of the most hardest hit by government overreach, VA tried to grab guns, CA removed all ham radio boosters and made it illegal for those of us that use them for emergency situation to operate our own. Why would anyone do that? Unless you had plans that you did not want people to be able to communicate. And here we are and our cellphones barely work, internet is being throttled to a crawl, and we have threats of Nat Guard on the roads to keep us indoors any day now. Oh, and he tried to stop any gun or ammo sales day one of the lock-down. And I don’t know if any of you caught gov. nuisance the night he announced our lock-down. Not only did he only give the citizens less than 6 hours before he was enacting his decree which caused a panic of people trying to get anything they could get their hands on at our already empty store, but he also did this just days after letting over a thousand prisoners out which put them on the streets, with not much time to get a place to stay, supplies, food and water before almost as if he was looking for fighting and riots so he could impose force. But worst of all, he called the state a Socialist Nation State. I was livid. Especially since he talks a big independent game, but immediately followed with a speech about how he was waiting on Washington to send medical supplies to care for the sick. A real nation state would be prepared to care for its citizens. I guess that’s where the socialist comes in. So sorry about the rant. But its just, there are appropriate times to fly the flag inverted. And sadly I don’t think I have ever seen a better time than right now. But, I would and have fought over Glory being disrespected. From flying her upside down with disrespect, to walking on her, or even trying to burn her I would give my life. Because if she falls, I fear what would take her place.

    • Admin says:

      It is disrespectful and abuse of the flag to use it that way for your pretty political purposes and other people will see it that way. Hopefully, a US Marine will show up up and teach you some respect.

      • Just Me says:

        The country is being taken over by communist sympathizing POS politicians voiding our rights. This is a time of distress not some petty political nonsense.
        My coutry, my flag… If I choose to fly it inverted I will, any fellow vet that has a problem with that is welcome to stop in to discuss it, anytime, period…..

      • Admin says:

        Well, you are a disgrace to the flag then for abusing it for political reasons. Communists dishonor it by flying it upside down. You’ll fit right in.

    • lilyredrose says:

      Agree, Sir. Mine is going up inverted on 1/20/21 and will stay there. When the communists, marxists, trying to destroy this great nation, draw their last breath, it will be reversed. Either that or go ahead and hang the red CCP flag. Nope.

      • Admin says:

        Trumpers have often disrespected the flag, like that. Of course, they care more about their idol than they do anything else. Well, if they will surround and storm the Capitol building, beat honorable police with the flag, even and kill policeman apparently and dishonor the Constitution / legal process, what will they not do? Abuse of the flag is just one more way they dishonor our country.

  13. Admin says:

    This post was made at the end of 2013 when I was getting sick of seeing so many Tea Party members flying the flag upside down. It made a lot of people angry, but for whatever reason, Tea Partiers gradually stopped flying the flag upside down over the next couple of years. I think it must have sunk in that it’s disrespectful of the flag.

    In the meantime, though, Trump supporters were disrespecting the flag for while. That has also subsided to a large degree, though, by now.

    Trump Supporters Abuse, Deface American Flag

  14. CAMaven says:

    I prefer the Gadsden don’t tread on me flag to inverting Old Glory.

    But, actually, the stolen election and subsequent actions by the usurpers who took power is/was an immediate danger. If you don’t think that the actions taken by the illegal Biden administration pose and immediate danger to the nation, then you aren’t paying attention.

    In the last two months we have sen the borer pen to law-breaking and expensive people coming in, including terrorists, thugs, gang members and moochers. Even if those weren’t among them, we just can’t handle the sheer volume of people coming in who are unable to legally support themselves.

    They are trying to ram through HR 1 which would end fair elections forever.

    They are trying to further reduce the 2nd, 4th and 5th amendments though legislation already well along the pipeline.

    Biden has unleashed a blizzard of executive orders which will further reduce freedoms, increase oppression and bring economic ruin upon us. He has already appointed america hating totalitarians into key positions.

    They are starting more warfare and more hostility toward Russia, when China is our obvious and most dangerous enemy by far.

    There is much more. This is immediate danger- with consequences already hitting us.

    • Admin says:

      An imminent threat is one that threatens your life at this very moment. If you were under that kind of threat you wouldn’t be commenting on the Internet right now.

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  16. Randall Wall says:

    I am a veteran and I have no issue with flying it upside down. I risked my life for the freedom to speek out, to protest. America is in turmoil currently and with Biden’t nonsense we are definately in distress.

    • Admin says:

      Lee Harvey Oswald and Jeremiah Wright were also veterans. Being a veteran doesn’t mean you have a special right to disrespect our national symbol.

  17. kyle says:

    I am a patriot American what matters is the bill of rights and Constitution and the concept of America laid out by the founders .the flag is only a symbol and the meaning can be changed in the hands of corrupted government. for me the flag still represent the ideals of the bill of rights and constitution.

    • Admin says:

      The word “patriot” has been co-opted by a lot of people who aren’t patriots at all, but far-right, anti-American extremists. Dishonoring the flag is an indication to me that you may be one of those people.

  18. Brock Driskol says:

    We have now been under the Biden admin, I mean, regime for a little over 9 months and they’ve done nothing but destructive and out right evil things strictly for their own agenda, irregardless of what negative effect it will have on the American citizens. In fact, they’ve catered and bent over backward for illegal immigrants while depriving the legal citizens of a fair standard of life. Furthermore, this president is clearly in the middle of a legit mental and cognitive decline that was very apparent during his campaign in 2020. He is an embarrassment and a disgrace to our country.
    I understand the concern about abusing the actual flag for political reasons, but it is also a symbol.
    This country, and the values that it has always stood for, is currently under attack and being removed or reversed. I would call that DIRE DISTRESS. And because this administration has done so much damage in such a short amount of time, I would also describe them as an IMMINENT THREAT to America and the citizens that love her.

    • Admin says:

      Please don’t abuse the flag to support an extremist political agenda. People will think you are a neo-Nazi or domestic terrorist. A political response would be the proper response to Biden’s misdeeds, not flag abuse.

      • Brock Driskol says:

        Well, if displaying an upside-down flag gets makes me a domestic terrorist, then the upside-down flag isn’t the problem. Desecration, or as you put it, abuse of the flag is protected by the First Amendment as long as it’s done so in an expressive manner or to convey a message.
        I personally don’t think anyone should desecrate the American flag out of reapect, however, I don’t think that displaying an upside-down American flag symbol is in any way desecrating it.

  19. Admin says:

    Well you would be wrong.

    Just because something is protected by the 1st Amendment does not mean at all that it is a smart or decent thing to do. Are you going to start burning the flag or wiping you ass with it, because that too would be protected free speech?

  20. Admin says:

    Here’s some BLM idiots flying the flag upside down. You want to look like these fools, I guess.

    BLM knuckleheads flying he flag upside down

    Be like them? BLM idiots fly flag upside down.

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