Forty-six-year-old Vito Congine Jr. of Crivitz, WI flew an American flag upside down in front of the restaurant he hopes to open. On July 4th, police officers confiscated the flag before a parade and returned it the following day. The ACLU "is considering legal action . . . for violating [Congine Jr.'s] First Amendment rights" (FNC).
Flying the flag upside-down typically represents distress. And, because it is the American flag, I have always understood it to mean that one believes that the nation is in distress . . . not "bankruptcy because the village board refused to grant [Congine Jr.] a liquor license after he spent nearly $200,000 to buy and remodel a downtown building for an Italian supper club" (FNC). Also, I find it unprofessional and completely out of place -- though not illegal -- for Mr. Congine, Jr. to disrespect the flag in a public venue; in my opinion, it would have been different had he decided to fly it on his own private property. However, I can't imagine that it would be good for potential business, especially since the county sheriff's reason for having the flag temporarily removed was because "people were upset and . . . 'It is illegal to cause a disruption'" (FNC). A disruption? People were upset. People tend to upset easily.