UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were confused when they saw the American flag outside their house turned upside down.
They believe somebody has been playing a prank and flipping it over in the middle of the night. Nobody has been caught.
For many veterans like Givon Hall, the American flag is a revered symbol of the country they risked their lives to serve. When he saw it turned upside down outside the SAE fraternity house, he questioned why. Hall says, “The flag upside down is a sign of distress and it’s also a form of desecration. So it kind of hurt me that somebody would do that.” He contacted WCIA to find out what was behind this.
House director Brian Schnitz says, “Just this past week someone has been coming around, turning the flag upside down, and putting it back up again.” This was just as distressing for him. He’s also a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Schnitz says, “I was pissed being a veteran myself. A flag upside down in the military means you’re under duress and to send for help. I told the president that and he said we need to get that fixed, which we did.” They raised it right side up, but the next night it was turned back upside down.
Schnitz says, “We don’t condone that. It’s very disrespectful to the gentlemen here at this house who put this flag up and want to keep it up and it’s disrespectful to this country and anybody who has served the country representing this flag.”
While it may be a joke to whoever is doing this, Hall believes it should not be taken lightly. He says, “I know a lot of veterans, not just me, who also don’t appreciate it and are hurt by the fact that somebody would do that for fun or whatever it’s for.”
Other than trespassing on property, what was done is not illegal, so the house has not reported this to police.