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Inverted sign of the times

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Letter to the Editor
Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

In his Nov. 14 letter, “No reason to disrespect the flag,” W. John Stanoski stated that he is appalled by individuals and businesses flying the American flag upside down.

I served in the active-duty military for 22 years and support this form of expression.

According to U.S. Flag Code, the inverted flag signifies “dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property” and doesn't provide any penalty for displaying it this way. The notion that folks are doing this because they fear their “bottom line will suffer” makes about as much sense as a screen door in a submarine.

The upside-down flag is an appropriate statement because the country is in distress:

• The economy is an ongoing train wreck.

• The Obama administration functions without regard for the Constitution.

• It has weakened national security and damaged the military, our foreign policy is a joke and our borders are not secure.

• We now face the biggest tax increase in history.

Over the years, liberals have burned the flag or otherwise defiled it. Kudos to everyone exercising their First Amendment rights by simply inverting it.

Leo Patterson


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