Liverpool According to the United States Flag Code approved by Congress in July 1976, “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”
Well, there’s nothing dangerous about eating home fries and hash browns at the American Diner, 214 Oswego St., so why is its Stars and Stripes hanging upside down?
You can deduce the answer by checking out the other flag flying at the diner, a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” banner also known as the Gadsden flag. It depicts a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike.
That flag was designed in 1775 during the American Revolution by U.S. General Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina. It now stands as a symbol of disagreement with government. Since 2009 the Gadsden Flag has been adopted as a symbol of the American Tea Party movement.
The American Diner and its owner, Mike Tassone, are no strangers to opposition politics as epitomized by the Tea Party. My fellow writer Hal Smith, who penned a feature profiling “Lakeside Liverpool” in the summer edition of Plank Road Magazine, reported that the diner’s decorated with patriotic posters such as this one: “If you really don’t like America, leave.”
The diner’s most expensive hamburger, Smith noted, is “The anti-Michelle Obama, Don’t Tell Me What to Eat or Feed My Kids Burger.” The one-pounder with fries goes for $11.99.
You get the idea: don’t tread on me and don’t tell me how to live.
Which brings us back to that upside-down Old Glory.
Mike Tassone surely agrees with Idaho defense contractor Jeff Head, who proudly flies his flag upside down. Head explains why:
“As a result of the many traitors and enemies we as a free people have, both foreign and domestic, as a result of the many unconstitutional acts, legislation and atrocities passed and/or committed against U.S. citizens and their life, liberty and property, and as a result of policies that have allowed (and continue to allow) enemies of this nation to enter in large numbers through a porous border policy, I believe the life, liberty and property of U.S. citizens are in dire danger and distress.”