- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

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



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.


1Buci01(12 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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

Suggest removal:

2bobhogue(102 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

3jeepers(127 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

4michael1757(490 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Sure,he can fly the flag upside down,but what is HE doing to change what he believes is the wrong direction? When I was on-board the USS Albany,at Colors,the Marines who raise the flag,hoisted it upside down. Not good! They were fined,& put on restriction for that mistake. To fly it upside is not only disrespect for our country,& to the rest of who served,but to me,wrong.

Suggest removal:

5whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

6AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

7chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

8Letstryagain(218 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

While I may empathize with Dr. Allen, it is unfortunate that he has choosen an international distress signal to voice his concern.

His action is the equivelant of calling 911 for a non-emergency or sending a mayday out over a marine radio when there is little likelihood of loss.

The police shouds respond as if the flag is a sign of distress, be prepared to take action in order to save life and property. If on arrival they should find there is no immediate danger, appropriate action should be taken against the owner of the flag for displaying a false distress signal.

Suggest removal:

9lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

10thinkthentalk(310 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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?

Suggest removal:

11NoBS(2832 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Waaaaah! Waaaaah! The Pious Right lost the election! Waaaaaaah! Waaaaaah! Get over it, babies!! Your reactions, along with the childish antics of do-nothings like Allen, are more the reason this country is so divided than the actions of the tax-and-spend liberals.

Everyone needs to get over their extremist views and get back to normalcy. We need to cooperate with each other. THAT will get this country out of the mess it's in - not some spoiled brat attention-monger like Allen, flying his flag wrong, but not doing anything to correct the problem he claims he acknowledges exists.

Suggest removal:

12nojimbo(286 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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...

Suggest removal:

13jojuggie(1724 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

AAV, get a job!

Suggest removal:

14redeye1(5669 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

gdog I spent 7 yrears in the Army . How many years did you serve your country? Once again you have to bring up the race card . Race has nothing to do with it, its his stupidity that is the real issue. I"m flying the rebel flag at my home in protest . You see I still can't figure how anyone as stupid as he is can get re-elected. Then it hit me their are a hell of lot more people who are stupider then him. Problem solved!

Suggest removal:

15tvukovich(9 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

16lgris(3 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

17tvukovich(9 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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!.

Suggest removal:

18saddad(655 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

donke--you sound like you are really tuned in. When you ask, "are there any Americans that would do that today?", you do know we are in a war in Afghanistan right? We have thousands of Americans doing that tomorrow while you lay in your putrid bed formulating your stinking thoughts to add here like pure bile.Enjoy the freedom the give you jackwad.

Suggest removal:

19DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The next flag of the US will be issued by Odumbo with his own mug on it.

Suggest removal:

20GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

21lgris(3 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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

Suggest removal:

22big97redtj(16 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully it catches on. Great job Doc.

Suggest removal:

23kensgirl(1061 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

24lgris(3 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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????

Suggest removal:

25redeye1(5669 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Igris Because the people who are complaining about Dr Allen's flag are the ones that I call the entitlemnet group. No not SS or Medicare, but welfare rats who only worry about what they can get next for FREE !My guess is that most never serve in the military .Just like their leader BO who never served either.

Suggest removal:

26redeye1(5669 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

tvukovich If I were you I would start worrying about your PENSION, You see I'm willing to bet its tied into the stockmarket some how. As you would know, if you are watching TV or the news , that the stockmarket is in a free fall that doesn't look like its going to stop anytime soon. Oh one other thing if listen outside and you can be quiet , you will hear the rich sending of their cash to the Cayman Islands Banks, LMAO

Suggest removal:

27fd6636(288 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

28grog8797(25 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

he has every right to be a douche bag

Suggest removal:

29redeye1(5669 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

fd6636 & grog8797 You two are so blind by the main stream media BS that you both feel intelligent. If you would look and research things you would know that BO and Hilliary have approached the UN about bringing their weapons ban to the US. Its on record to be heard by the UN in March of 2013 . So if any one is a douch noozle you two fit the bill. Uneducated or just plain stupid, I'm not sure which. But the future will tell. If the stockmarket is any indication the next four years is going to be a living hell here in the USA.

Suggest removal:

30jupiter(116 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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.)

Suggest removal:

31sass_73(1 comment)posted 3 years, 8 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.

Suggest removal:

32AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


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"


Suggest removal:

33AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

34iBuck(231 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

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

Suggest removal:

35danaallen(1 comment)posted 3 years, 8 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!!

Suggest removal:

36peggysue(1 comment)posted 3 years, 8 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!)

Suggest removal:

37paulydel(1607 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Allen in no way has disrespected the flag. Flying it upside down is a signal of distress although its not the type of distress it was originally meant for. He is right about the direction this country is headed for because we are on a collision course for desaster. I served 26yrs in the Air Force as an E-7 and am proud of our military. What I am not proud of is our voters who are taking us down the path of socialism and being headed buy a person who ran on open and honest govt. only to seal his records so that we can't find out who he really is. I also didn't like the fact that he went to other countries bowed to a king lied and said he didn't then apologizes to them. I am a life long Democrat who is sorely disappointe in the Democratic party and their tax and spend policies being run by a guy who has no business experience running anything except this country into the ground. Everything he has done with money going into businesses that are now bankrupt was a failure. The stimulus money is another monkey on our backs because this will be rolling down to our families for several generations to come.

Suggest removal:

38IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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!!


Suggest removal:

39paulydel(1607 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Some of you are to ignorent to know you've been had.

Suggest removal:

40kurtw(1823 comments)posted 3 years, 8 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?

Suggest removal:

41IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago


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!!

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes