Local GOP Head Hangs Flag Upside Down

The head of the Mon Valley Republican Committee in Pennsylvania, Brent Kovac, hung an American flag upside down at that committee’s headquarters on the day President Obama was inaugurated for a second term, saying he did it because it’s a sign that the country is in distress:

Channel 11’s Julie Fine talked to the man behind the flag. He said that he doesn’t “regret it at all” because “our nation is in a horrible place.”

“I think some people that didn’t know why the flag was flying upside down might find out, and some people that didn’t agree with it might’ve talked to some people who agreed with it,” Brent Kovac said.

I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, he’s a moron. On the other hand, why should I give a shit what anyone does with a piece of colored cloth that they own? I’ve never understood our obsession with the flag. And on the third hand, can you even imagine what the wingnuts would do if a Democrat did this when a Republican was inaugurated? They’d be demanding arrests and treason charges.

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  • Did you suddenly become a Beeblebrox?

  • addiepray

    Damn liberals, always hatin’ on America.

  • The Lorax

    This just in from the head of the Mon Valley Republican Committee in Pennsylvania, Brent Kovac, “… WAAAAAAAHHHH!! WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!”

  • immunologist

    A crowning achievement of our constitutional form of government is the peaceful transition of power, something that is justly celebrated at each inauguration. One of the things I find most distressing about the increasingly apocalyptic world view of the Republican Party is that they have lost virtually all sense of the importance of “the loyal opposition.” I hope that the hold of the right fringe of that party diminishes in importance (or better yet, decamps to form a third party or consolidates within the Conservative Party), so that we can regain a legislature where all members have sincere respect for the will of the people.

  • atheist

    I’m getting really tired of the constant conservative microagressions. Liberals need to develop our own microagressions and start using them. Conservatives and their little friends the libertarians don’t understand anything else.

  • marcus

    I thought it was hilarious that the Rethugs got their drawers all in a bunch about Obama not “reaching across the aisle” in his inauguration speech. “ZOMG! It’s like he has his own agenda or something!!11one!1! What about our needs?”

    Not to mention the fact that every time he’s tried he’s “drawn back a nub” as we used to say.

  • Alverant

    Is the committee HQ any kind of government office? If so he’s speaking as a representitve of the federal government and not as a private citizen. He might have just committed an act of sedition by that.

  • baal

    Actually, #5 atheist, we should not.* Instead, we should do what Ed did and call them on it. I’m also ok with asking them annoying ironic questions (usually), “why do you hate America? Isn’t flying the flag like that disrespecting the country?”.

    *It’s a bit like spanking a kid as punishment for hitting someone. You might get obedience out of fear but the lesson is that violence is a solution…which is probably why they hit in the first place. If you’re a passive aggressive jerk to a passive aggressive jerk, all your target sees is a mirror (social permissioning) of their own jerkishness.**

    **I make an exception for physically violent bullies. Hit them hard early and from out of the blue. This oddly enough is taken as a sign (by the bully) that you’re one of him (another bully) so he’ll leave you alone. Bully code rules state that bullies don’t attack bullies***.

    ***Unless they are checking to see if you’re a victim again.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Dear Brent Kovac: We call this “horrible place”, as you refer to it, as “reality”. Get used to it. You’re going to be living in it for the rest of your life. You might even (horror of horrors) find yourself liking the place after awhile.

  • eamick

    And he is, unsurprisingly, a paranoid birther. Check out his screed at the bottom of this page.

  • justsomeguy

    Piece of colored cloth though it may be, flying a flag upside-down is a legitimate way to communicate that one is in distress. This moron is just crying wolf about it, though. It’s like calling 911 to complain about a stubbed toe.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_signal#Flags

  • “I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, he’s a moron. […]”

    I’m good with that one, you can stop there.

  • To be fair, they had to come out against a sense of proportion. Obama’s for it.

  • “*It’s a bit like spanking a kid as punishment for hitting someone. You might get obedience out of fear but the lesson is that violence is a solution…”

    Which is the best reason for the OT injunction to kill the uppity little bastards.

    What is “microaggression”? Is that like saying “Hey, GOPricks! Go fuck yourselves, you fucking fuckers!!” in 4 point type instead of 140 point?

  • twincats

    Is this a thing now? I work in retail and just last week had a fellow in his 50s-60s ask me if we had any flag decals. After I directed him to what we had (which was not really what he wanted) he loudly announced that he wanted one to put upside-down on his bumper because he felt this country is in trouble.

    It was one of those times I just had to walk away. Luckily, I’ve long since mastered the mental facepalm and hardly shake my head at all anymore…

  • dogfightwithdogma

    I have no problem with him having hung the flag upside down. Free speech, you know. If burning the flag is an acceptable and protected form of free speech – I think it is – then turning it upside down to express your view is equally acceptable and protected.

    I also, however, agree with Ed about our obsession with this piece of cloth. So many people get their shorts tied up in knots over the flag. But many, if not most, of those same people would, I think, likely not raise a single whimper of protest over the burning or mutilation of a copy of the constitution. And frankly I think either act is worthy of praise. I say, “Way to go, exercise that right to express your view and dissent.”

  • One of the things I find most distressing about the increasingly apocalyptic world view of the Republican Party is that they have lost virtually all sense of the importance of “the loyal opposition.”

    Yeah, when they’re in power they declare the opposition to be treasonous. When they’re out of power, they start advocating actual treason. It’s kind of hard to share a democracy with people like that.

  • oranje

    I do love how their idea of reaching across the aisle and compromising is completely adopting their worldview and agenda. That was the mantra from 2010-onwards, that if Obama would only be reasonable and do exactly what the House Republicans wanted, then things would get done.

    This all-or-nothing is toxic, and we need (at least) two sane political parties to have effective governance. Right now we barely have one.

  • cry4turtles

    Do they make flags depicting cheese going with the whine?

  • whheydt

    It may be worth noting that (a) an inverted flag is specifically a *maritime* distress signal, and (b) used when no other signals are available.

    Since neither of those conditions hold, he’s just stupid.

    One could, I suppose, walk up to him and ask what sort of distress he’s in? Lack of water perhaps? Is his building in danger of sinking? Are the phones (to call for help) out of order? Doesn’t he have a working cell phone?

  • Rip Steakface

    Well, there is the convention that upside-down flags are distress signals nonetheless, so this may be less about an obsession with our pretty cloth and more about just using hyperbole on his part.

  • dingojack

    This wouldn’t happen in Japan, I bet.

    🙂 Dingo

  • Artor

    I have visions of the Coast Guard helicopters circling the building, and rescue personnel rappelling down to land on the roof. They find Kovac and ask him where the emergency is, why is he flying a distress signal? When he tells him the reason, they leave him with a bill for the mobilization, and a fine for misuse of an emergency distress signal.

  • lpetrich

    In the early 1990’s, Michael Kinsley wrote a column for Time magazine, I think, in which he stated that political fashions travel from left to right. He gave several examples, and I’m sure that we can think of additional ones.

    I’ve been expecting right-wingers to burn American flag in response to defeats for some time now. That hasn’t happened yet, but some members of the “Tea Party” once offered tea-stained US flags.

    Now there’s this upside-down flag in honor of Obama’s second term.

  • Michael Heath

    I met with someone about business yesterday where they were wearing an upside-down flag pin. I initially assumed they were the typical absent-minded type who inadvertently had this pin on wrong. But in spite of our being in a business context having nothing to do with politics, this person repeatedly felt necessary to raise a number of political topics all having to do with their deep hatred of Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi.