Pittsburgh, PA—(ENEWSPF)—December 17, 2011. The American flag flown above The People’s Park was stolen early Friday morning, December 16, 2011.
The Veterans of Occupy Pittsburgh chose to display the flag upside-down as a distress signal. The American Flag Code states that a flag may be flown upside down in times of dire distress or in extreme danger to life or property. The Veterans of Occupy Pittsburgh felt the danger to the encampment at People’s Park was severe enough after eviction notices were posted to warrant a distress signal. In fact, it worked to alert other veterans who then visited the encampment looking for ways to support Occupy Pittsburgh.
As Occupy Pittsburgh faces the potential for forced removal from The People’s Park, it is relevant to remind ourselves of the 224,394 foreclosures that forced families out of their homes last month and the nearly 7 million foreclosures that forcibly removed Americans from their homes and sent many into the streets over the last two years. It is relevant to remind ourselves that one in five of the nearly one million Americans who will experience homelessness during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, will be veterans. It is relevant to remind ourselves that over 15% of the American population, including 16.4 million children, live below the poverty line. It is relevant to ask ourselves, is our nation in distress?
The stolen flag itself was entrusted to the Veterans of Occupy Pittsburgh from the family of a fallen Iraq War Veteran. The thief should know that the American Flag they stole once covered the coffin of an individual who sacrificed their life defending our guaranteed rights to free speech and freedom of assembly. The family donated this flag so that it could be flown at The People’s Park. Occupy Pittsburgh continues to be humbled by this gracious gift, and we are saddened by the nature of this cowardly theft.