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Protests unfurl over display of flag at Allen's office



Published: Sat, November 17, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

Protests unfurl over display of Old Glory upside down

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

The American flag outside of Dr. Donald Allen’s veterinary office is like any other flying outside of a business, except it’s upside down.

That motivated Steve Senanefes, of Salem, and three other people to protest outside of Allen’s practice at Market Street and Maple Drive on Monday, when Veterans Day was observed.

“Basically in my eyes that is disrespecting the flag and those who put their lives down for it,” said Senanefes, who served in the Marine Corps from 2002 to 2005.

Allen has flown the flag upside down since March because he does not agree “with the direction the country is going.” The secondary flag had been the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, but Allen recently changed it to the Culpeper flag that reads “Liberty or Death.”

“It’s certainly not disrespectful,” Allen said of the inverted flag. “It’s a signal of distress.”

Allen served on active duty from 1967 to 1971 and retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve in 2010. He said his decision to fly the flag upside down is a form of free speech, and he is protesting what he believes is shift in government policy from favoring individualism to collectivism. Allen describes his political views as conservative independent and favors abolishing income tax in favor of a consumption tax.

Senanefes referenced the National Flag Code that states “the flag shall never be displayed union [or stars] down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

“He is doing this for a strictly political agenda. I’ll be honest with you; I’m not happy with everything going on in the country, but that’s not the way to go about it. Talk, put signs up, but leave the flag alone,” he said.

Allen said he would have kept the flag inverted even if President Barack Obama lost re-election.

“It doesn’t matter which [political] party it is. ...I will keep the flag inverted until I can breathe the free air of liberty once again,” he said.

Allen said he’s had about 20 phone calls at his practice about the flag. He said photos of it on social media drew comments from people around the world — and he said not all were civil.

Allen filed a police report Nov. 5 that he was being threatened online with harm to himself and his property.

Senanefes said to his knowledge, there’s been nothing he would consider serious online.

“I haven’t seen anything life-threatening. It’s been people posting ‘We want to take your flag and fix it for you.’ I don’t want trouble, I just want the flag right,” he said.

He insists that he is not infringing on Allen’s constitutional rights.

“I was a Marine and I put my life on the line, not just for the country but for that flag. We’re taught when you refer to the flag, it’s your flag. [Allen] can talk all he wants,” Senanefes said.


Comments

1Buci01(11 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I happen to believe Dr. Allen has every right to Fly the Flag as he is. All of these comments should come forth when Individuals "Burn Our Flag" but do they I do not think so. If they do what is said, oh that is freedom of Speech. One has to determine which is worse Burning the Flag or Displaying it Upside Down. As a Retired Military Person with the rank of SFC-7 , I Truly believe Burning the Flag is Worse !!!! Wake Up America

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2bobhogue(102 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

It's ironic that the government that he thinks is in "distress" is the very same one that guarantees his right to free speech, including doing disrespectful things to the flag. I agree that he has the right to fly the flag anyway he wants, but I'd love to see him spend some time in some other country where they might treat his flag antics with a much less measured response. Maybe then he would get a better understanding of what a government in distress really is.

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3jeepers(127 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dr. Allen-there are more supporters out here for your actions than you will ever know. We feel like you do but have no way to vent our disgust and displeasure as we watch the country we grew up in change in ways that show weakness of character. Thank you for your service to the country, Dr. Allen. Those that take issue are probably the ones that are against kids learning the pledge of allegiance/ against any type of prayer in school/ for girls in the boy scouts. We grew up in a different time, different country than the kids today. They may never know what they have missed.

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4whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Win / Win , Just you people talking about it makes me smile....

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5UticaShale(848 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dr. Allen is a hero!

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dr Allen you lost another client. Flying the flag upside down is not patriotic, it is PATHETIC. I have not met one person who supports him flying the USA FLAG upside down.

It is very (patriotic) of you to protest against the COUNTRY that gives you the right to protest.

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7chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Keep the flag flying (upside down). Our lives as Americans and existence (as we know it) are is jeopardy.

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8lee(544 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Good for you doc. I thought about doing the same thing, now I know I will.

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9thinkthentalk(257 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

How so, chuck. Please explain, humor me.
Shortly ill be taking my son out to exercise our 2nd amendment rights to hunt. With guns. So again, chuck, elaborate, tell me how my life is in jeopardy?
Dr Allen, why dont you just put out a stupid empty chair instead of desecrating the flag?

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10nojimbo(219 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Is this the same nutjob who praised the John Birch Society and wondered whether Eisenhower was a communist agent? http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/may/27...

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11gdog4766(1261 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Allen is a unpatriotic dbag just like all of you idiots on here supporting him. Get over it the black man won reelection! The sun will rise, the earth will spin, you all will still be ranting, raving idiots spouting lies and half truths and life will go on. Allen, your father failed you in teaching you to be a man. You should go and spit on his grave.

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12Forejjg(19 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

All of you IDIOTS that think it is ok to protest by disrespecting the flag should go live in some other country. Disrespecting the flag is disrespecting the men and women that put their lives on the line to defend it. Yes, I'm retired AF. There are a million ways to protest, so find another way. This country is still the most free country in the world. If you don't like the direction of the country, try to do something about it. Don't just wine and bitch by disrespecting those of us that provide your freedom.

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13donkenall(4 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Our Founding Fathers pledged their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor to fight the tyranny they lived under. Are there any Americans who would do that today? "Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." I don't expect those who are protesting here to know where that quote came from.

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14donkenall(4 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

That flag is not upside-down. AMERICA IS!!!!

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15tvukovich(9 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey doc, try to shut off Rash, Vanity and the fox tv network and MAYBE just Maybe common sence might work it's way in, just something to think about. Have a Great Day.

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16lgris(3 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I've been reading some of these comments and I have to laugh. Dr. Allen's flag was never an issue until the week before the election. This flag has been upside down since March of 2012. And you're just now noticing. The problem is either you don't read the news or don't know how to read the news or just think everything's going to be alright and plain just don't care! It is quite obvious you think this is all about the election and it's not. Name one thing that our government is doing right! Educate yourself, before it's too late.

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17tvukovich(9 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

doc, if your are retired out of the service... Thank You. But if it was up to one of the two parties, I think you know which one, you might have a 401K instead of a Real Way to Retire... PENSION! Have a Great Day!.

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18GoPens(397 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Very disrespectful to the flag. Anyone with common sense who takes their pet to this idiot should immediately find another vet.

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19lgris(3 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Really, is it because you really think he's being disrespectful or because you don't have free vet care too. What is the matter with you all, you can't see that we are in trouble????? Get a grip

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20big97redtj(16 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Hopefully it catches on. Great job Doc.

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21kensgirl(540 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Maybe Dr. Allen's father needed to be neutered.

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22lgris(3 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

OK for those who keep knocking Dr. Allen... here is one of the facts OBAMACARE Fact 5: Your family insurance plan — if your employer drops your coverage and you are forced to buy it on your own — will cost about $15,000 per year when the legislation is in full force in 2016, Good luck to all that he insists this country is upside down. Why do you all insist that it's not????

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23donkenall(4 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

To you Alinsky devotees who knock my father, he died when I was six years old. I started life with zero $, have worked harder than any of you (licensed horseshoer for nine years), never was on unemployment, and volunteered four times to serve my Nation. So you losers can STFU.

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24UticaShale(848 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Let Freedom Ring!"

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25fd6636(254 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Typical sore looser republican who cant face the fact that they were out of touch with voters, and now claim that their country will be in ruins soon. Sorry doc, radical thinking and poor displays of what republicans claim are "ultra patriotic" such as yours are what cost this present and future elections.

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26grog8797(21 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

he has every right to be a douche bag

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27jupiter(116 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dr. Allen-"thank you" for your service to this country. And you have every right to express your opinion...NO MATTER HOW ASININE THE MEDIUM YOU CHOOSE TO EXPRESS IT IS.
My opinion (which is just as valid as yours) is that: Conservatives such as yourself are simply "out of touch." That, coupled with your "sore loser" mentality (as fd6636 stated), makes you into more of a caricature than anything resembling a legitimate harbinger of true conservative values. Take a lesson from biology: "Evolve"...or risk losing any legitimacy, except as part of the fossil record. (Don't tell me you're one of those "educated" right-wingers who mixes their politics and science..? If your are, please re-read the posts referring to the right's "out of touch" dogma and agenda.)

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28sass_73(1 comment)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey I'm Steve the fellow mentioned in this article. I appreciate everyone’s comments on this article no matter the stance. I would imagine "Igris" would have to be non-other than Dana Allen with the ridiculousness of the nature of comments. Just for a little background for those of you actually interested one way or the other on this issue. I first noticed this flag being inverted on October 24th while I was driving by for work somewhere on Market St. I hadn’t noticed it before then because until August I was serving my brothers and sisters in arms in Afghanistan as a Civilian contractor. So the day I actually noticed it I stopped took pics and posted to FB, since I have been networking with folks all around the country to correct this flag. I’ve been accused of trying to “Trample” the Dr.’s freedom of speech, by no means am I. I told him “… Go to Washington D.C. and turn the flag on top of the Capital upside down. Then let me know how that goes for you.” But apparently he has decided there is no trip to D.C. in his immediate future. Any of you that would like to discuss this further feel free to look me up on Facebook name is in the article. Look forward to hearing from some of you.

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29AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

sass,

Seems funny that people would complain that you are using your freedom of speech. I guess if dr allen is using freedom of speech, we must all agree with him. If we do not agree with dr allen, you are tramping on his rights. GOODNESS, we should not tramp on dr allens rights, he is in too much "distress"

.

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30AnotherAverageCitizen(1172 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

DR allen, Take your bisiness to Texas and leave the USA. That way you will not be in "DISTRESS" anymore.

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31iBuck(205 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Remove the oath-breakers from office, and then the USA will not be in distress any more.

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32danaallen(1 comment)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

sass_73: If I want to comment on this article or your crying about the flag being upside-down, I'll use my own name. Again and again you've been told why the flag is upside down and has been since MARCH. You're the one who is disrespectful to this country. And I'll call this what it is: His right to freedom of speech. If he wants to fly the flag upside down, signalling DISTRESS, he can do so in this FREE COUNTRY. To those of you who complain that he should go to another country and see what happens there - wow - so profound. Dr. Allen has been to plenty of other countries: Lithuania, Germany, Phillipines, to name a few. Where have you been? Steve, you want him to go to D.C.? I'll tell you when we'll be going to DC. When the country needs to be taken back by the men and women who built this country with their bare hands. I still think you're a FOBitt. If anyone wants to switch veterinarians - I have one word for you - goodbye. I'm sure there are plenty of clients out there who will gladly take your place. This vet/Vet has provided pet clinics at a Marine base to help out soldiers' pets. What have you done? This vet/Vet has toured with two separate flights to search for lost soldiers in Tarawa and Europe. What have you done? Get your collective heads out of your rearends and see what is right in front of you!!

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33peggysue(1 comment)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

What is PATHETIC are all you UNPATRIOTIC parasites who just worry about having enough food, sex, sports, and drugs and thats why you feel threatened when you see THINKING individuals starting to rock the boat (that is sinking anyway!)

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34IslandMike(676 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Dr. Allen is a sore loser and and acting like a baby who didn't get his way! But he did serve his country, so that makes him a part of the 47%.

Obama has 5 more Christmas Days to spend in the White House and what Congressional republicons tried to do to him has now backfired and he has them bent over!! They're now going to have to play ball or get risk losing their seats in the mid-term elections. For all of you right wingers who don't like it......TOO BAD, there is NOTHING you can do about it!! Obama now has YOU down and he's stomping on your empty heads!!

OBAMA RULES!!!

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35kurtw(777 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

The interesting part of all this is that Dr. Allen paid to have a metal flag pole erected in front of his building. How many people do that or bother to display the flag in any way at all?

What it suggests to me is that here is a man who cares about his country passionately- even at the risk of courting disfavor.

As far as showing the flag in "distress", what a perfect metaphor for the condition of our country at this time- a ship of state sinking in a sea of red ink with a "regime" (I wont dignify them with the word "government") whose only solution is: "Spend More!" Of our money and that of Americans far into the future.

If the condition of our country is not one of "distress", then I don't know what to call it. Right On, Dr. Allen!

P.S. Under our Constitution, the people have the right to overthrow a government if it becomes tyrannical and subverts their liberty. Have we reached that point?

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36aconstituent(193 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

THIS IS AMERICA--LOVE IT OR PLEASE LEAVE IT!

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37IslandMike(676 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Kurtw,

Your comment:
P.S. Under our Constitution, the people have the right to overthrow a government if it becomes tyrannical and subverts their liberty. Have we reached that point?

Yes, we have, that is why we just held an election.

As far as spending money that we don't have, I guess you're referring to someone getting us into two unfunded wars at the tune of a TRILLION dollars a year. Now, where are those "Weapons of Mass Destruction?" I guess you"re referring to a party that wanted to generate less revenue to pay for those wars by cutting taxes.

The American people have spoken and what they decided to 'overthrow' was the government that got us into this mess.

As far as the pet detective who has a problem with his country, he is free to fly his flag however he wants, and I'm free to tell him to stick his flag up his ___. No one is stopping anyone from leaving the U.S.

HILLARY 2016!!

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