A Navy veteran in Long Island has faced some backlash for hanging an upside down American flag on his property in protest of the Trump presidency. James Klein, 69, was in the Navy and is a retired New York Police Department officer. His father fought in World War II and is a purple heart recipient.
“I’m a Patriot, I’ve had that flag up for 20 years, it gives me the right to protest what I want to protest. The Constitution tells me I can turn the flag upside down for a protest and that’s exactly what I did,” James Klein told PIX11 News.
Although Klein is a registered Republican, he disagrees with Trump’s presidential election.
“The lies the constant changing of his story I just can’t be with this man. I’m protesting Donald Trump, I don’t think he deserves to run this country I don’t think he deserves to be in the position he’s in,” Klein said.
The retired NYPD cop says he is too old to march in protests and believes his flag is an effective way to display his opposition, according to Mad World News.
“I’m getting too old to go on marches this was something very simple to me. Inauguration Day, I turned my flag upside down which means the country is in distress,” Klein told PIX11.
But as soon as he raised the upside-down flag, an anonymous man rang his doorbell and said someone had played a nasty prank on Klein. The man became distressed when Klein told him he did it himself as a form of protest.
A few days later, someone had cut the rope on his pole and stole the flag. “I went to Home Depot and got a new flag, new line, put it back up and put lights and security cameras on it,” Klein said.
The flag thieves have not yet been caught. Klein says she’s astounded by the negative reactions to the flag from fellow veterans who have sent him hate mail and nasty social media messages.
“They took action to uphold the Constitution they’re not doing that by being venomous to me this is part of the Constitution this is my freedom of speech. They can disagree with me but don’t be nasty,” Klein said.
However, a few neighbors are standing by Klein’s hold stance. “I think Mr. Klein is a really great man, well-loved and respected on this block it’s very sad to hear the hatred,” said Kim, a neighbor who would like to be identified only by her first name.
“I could see both sides of it. I understand why people are upset, I understand why he did it but I don’t discuss politics I don’t get involved in any of that.
“This is a close knit block everyone is very friendly, everyone gets along. To bring that type of violence in the neighborhood is upsetting.”
Sources: PIX11, Mad World News / Photo credit: Newsday via Mad World News