Upside-down flag-flier’s beliefs off the mark

Ernie Lamarre’s reasons for flying his flag upside down show the reasons for our country being in “deep trouble,” but not for the reasons that he lists (The Times Record, “Brunswick man flies American flag upside-down in show of conservative protest”). I would bet that Mr. Lamarre lives his life in a way that benefits our community — responsible, hard working, service to our country. Although his reasons are easily met with facts that will not change his mind because his “reasons” are beliefs. He does not know what socialism is. It’s the control of the companies by government or employees. It is not an expanded welfare system. Masking mandates are a proven way to protect the people of our country. Climate change is a proven phenomenon. Black Lives do matter and is not a step toward socialism or anarchy. Abortion is probably a choice that he will never have to make. Mr. Lamarre, thank for your service, but how about learning something about your beliefs and about Donald Trump who is not exemplary in any way.

Brian Hirst,
Harpswell

Calling for civil discourse in light of flag controversy

I am writing in regard to C. Thacher Carter’s fair reporting on Ernie Lamarre.

Fact: Ernie Lamarre, a self-described Christian conservative, is flying our flag upside down in violation of the U.S. Flag Code, a wordy document adopted by Congress in 1942.

Fact: Flag burning by the far left in protest of the Vietnam conflict sparked Congress to pass the Federal Flag Desecration Law in 1968. Violation of the Code is common: The flag is displayed in inclement weather; it is displayed in darkness without proper illumination; it is worn as clothing and used in advertising. Some of us may take umbrage at Mr. Lamarre’s manner of protest, but it is allowed in the Code “as a signal of dire distress,” which Mr. Lamarre is evidently feeling. “Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism,” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but I doubt he had in mind the hateful rhetoric and violent actions floating in our country today on all sides.

In response to Lamarre’s stating that “there is no way out”: I would say that there is a way out, and that is civil discourse among neighbors, which we are, first and foremost.

Candace Watson,
Bath

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