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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

June 28, 2002

The Upside-Down Flag

Distress Signal

By Aaron Zelman
Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

One recent afternoon I was working outdoors when a stranger rode up on a motorcycle and started giving me a hard time. No, he wasn't an outlaw biker; he was an ordinary patriotic American. But he didn't like what he saw in my front yard.

It was a U.S. flag. But it was flying upside-down, as it always does at the Zelman household.

He growled that he was a Vietnam vet and that he'd fought for that flag, and he didn't like me showing it disrespect. I answered that I was also a Vietnam vet. But I told him that he _hadn't_ fought for the flag (which is only a symbol); he'd fought for the Bill of Rights -- the document that sets America apart from lesser countries.

And I told him that flying the flag upside-down was as great a sign of respect for my country as I could think of. After all, America is in trouble, and flying its flag upside-down is a sign of distress*. The inverted flag calls out to everybody who sees: "Please help the United States. Don't let the most promising nation on earth fall into tyranny."

After the man rode off -- still disgruntled, but with a lot of new things to think about --it occurred to me just how powerful it really is to fly the flag upside-down. It gave me a chance to get one more person thinking about the real meaning of freedom. And that's the only way we're going to win this battle to bring back the Bill of Rights -- by reminding one person at a time about what freedom really is until there are millions of us, each refusing to surrender our rights, each faithfully defending the rights of others.


Flying the flag upside-down is a great way to get people's attention. Once you've got their ear, you can remind your friends and neighbors of exactly the kind of distress America is in right now. Remind them:

You can also remind people that, on June 26, 2002 a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared that it was unconstitutional for schools to lead children in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag because the words "under God" are religious.

Now, I know some readers of JPFO alerts believe the pledge is vital and even sacred and others don't like the pledge for various reasons. We could argue about the value of the Pledge of Allegiance all day, and whether it "establishes a religion" or whether the "under G-d"** clause is simply a recognition that our rights come from some greater source than government. But one thing we can all agree on -- the government has gone way, way, way too far in telling the people and the states what they can and can't do. And it's going to go a lot further if we don't stop it.

The panel's ruling is on hold pending challenges and possible review by the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If the ruling stands, the traditional pledge will be on its way out of government schools and other government-controlled places. Even if the ruling doesn't hold, the patriotism represented by the old pledge is becoming "politically incorrect," so that schools are dropping the pledge or even replacing it with various New Age and One World gobbledegook.

Let's prepare to give the world a new pledge that will stop tyrants in their tracks. Let's have a pledge that we and our children can recite proudly. Let it be a pledge that the Big Government Boys and Girls will hate, detest, loathe, and cringe away from, but whose language they don't dare declare illegal -- because to do that they'd have to come out and openly say they hate the Bill of Rights.

Let's adopt The Freedom Pledge.

Here it is:

The Freedom Pledge

I pledge my honor to the Bill of Rights, our precious national treasure.

As the Bill is a fortress against tyranny, I will battle all tyrants.

As the Bill protects liberty, I will live free.

As the Bill guards rights born within all humanity, I will defend the freedoms of future generations.

With my life, my words, and my daily deeds, with a vision of what can be, I honor all of the Bill of Rights for all mankind.

Regular readers of JPFO alerts have already seen this pledge. We first released it in time for Memorial Day. But The Freedom Pledge is for all times and all seasons. It's for every day. You can say it along with the flag pledge -- as long as they'll let you. Or you can say it alone when the flag pledge is outlawed.

Say it every day. Teach it to your children. Get your local school to adopt it. Recite it at meetings. Print it in newsletters. Help make The Freedom Pledge an American institution.

And start by saying it before your own upside-down American flag this Independence Day. Don't just shoot off fireworks (assuming the government will let you even do that, any more!) Send the real spirit of America rocketing through the skies. Help bring back the Bill of Rights and the true freedom for which it stands.

* United States Code (The Collected Laws of the United States)
Title 4, Chapter 1 - The Flag
Sec. 8. Respect for flag
SubSec. (a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

** Out of reverence for the Almighty, Jews do not spell out his name. That is why we write G-d.with a hyphen instead of an "o."

We have placed an image of the flag upside-down on our website


The Freedom Pledge and all contents of this alert are 2002 Aaron Zelman. You may reproduce The Freedom Pledge alone or reproduce the alert in its entirety, as long as you include this full copyright statement and attribution. The Freedom Pledge was created by Aaron Zelman and Claire Wolfe for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, P.O. Box 270143 Hartford, WI 53027, Phone (800) 869-1884 Fax: (425) 451-3959. To learn more about how you can defend the Bill of Rights, go to

The Liberty Crew

Copyright © 2002 JPFO, Inc. and the Authors. Permission is granted to reproduce this alert in full, so long as the JPFO contact information is included.
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