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Proven: Distress has different meanings

Posted 3/5/21

This letter is in response to the letter from Rebecca Ettien (“No need to be distressed in Sun City West,” Sun City West Independent, Feb. 17, 2021).

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Proven: Distress has different meanings


This letter is in response to the letter from Rebecca Ettien (“No need to be distressed in Sun City West,” Sun City West Independent, Feb. 17, 2021).

Kudos to Ms. Ettien for expressing her displeasure with Mr. Frank Bagnato’s comment regarding flying an American flag upside down as it related to another reader’s letter, Ms. Arnot.

Mr. Bagnato indicated that he has flown his American flag upside down for some weeks to express his “distress” with the current state of affairs in our country, finding it justifiable. Evidently, he has misinterpreted that mental distress, internal unhappiness and “dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property” is not one and the same. They do not include moments of personal dissatisfaction, disappointment or protests.

If Mr. Bagnato’s reason is so justifiable as he purports, that it is acceptable that a flag be flown upside down in times of “personal distress,” then does it also make it okay if I am “distressed” with a myriad of other issues affecting our country? If that was the case, to see a flag flying upside down would be more common than right side up. The “current state of affairs in our country” is pretty open-ended and can be interpreted in ways.

As for articles of clothing or masks that show our flag, clothing manufacturer PacSun removed T-shirts with upside down flags from store shelves in 2015 out of respect for our U.S. military.

We have many retired members of the military living in Sun City West. Did you wonder what their reaction would be to your flag? You have also queried if Ms. Arnot was outraged by clothing showing flags, assuming that she perhaps was. Isn’t the topic about “flags upside down,” Mr. Bagnato? Not the same.

Mental anguish and physical danger to life or property? Not the same.

Marcia Proven

Sun City West


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