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Mailbag: Do not fly Old Glory upside down

November 15, 2013

Re. "Patriotism flies high,": I was charmed by your Nov. 10 cover story about Thomas G. Riker, the 95-year-old veteran who has flown the American flag every day for about 40 years.

It was also nice to hear the positive comments that so many neighbors had regarding this apparent patriotism, love and devotion to Old Glory. But I cannot help but comment on his obvious misguided action regarding the flying of his flag upside down for a few days after President Obama was elected.

There is an accepted code when flying the U.S. flag.

The Flag Code's Title 36, Chapter 3, pertains to patriotic customs and observances.

It states, "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."

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While it is not illegal, it is inconsistent with the intent of the Flag Code and disrespectful to the president of the United States, who was lawfully elected by a noteworthy majority.

I would urge Riker and others who wish to express their dissatisfaction find a way to do so that is respectful of our flag, our country and our president.

Carolyn Fitz-Gibbon

Newport Beach

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Re. "How do we battle bullying?" (Nov. 10): Stand tall, be kind and ignore those who have nothing to do but hurt others. How unproductive and empty their lives must be. They could be choosing instead to put all that effort into helping to turn the world into a better place.

Tune out the vicious people in your life and you will be the winner.

As an adult I have learned through experience that unkind words from others can only hurt me if I allow them to. In looking back I realize that I cannot even remember the names of those who taunted me, because despite what I thought as a youngster, they were and are truly unimportant to my life.

Norma Farmer

Newport Beach

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What's with the wires?

Just what we need in Costa Mesa — more overhead wires! I was concerned that they would be those obnoxious bright white lights when I saw new streetlights being installed in Mesa Verde.

Happily, the lights are a pleasant amber. However, wires now run from light to light and diagonally across California Street where there never were wires before.

I read the newspaper daily and the Mesa Verde Assn. newsletters front to back, and this is the first I've heard of this. Will similar projects be done throughout the city?

We already have plenty of wires running through our backyards. Will we now be looking at them through our front windows as well? Will wires soon be strung along Placentia Avenue by Fairview Park?

Surely I am not the only one to be surprised and — frankly — aghast at this. Can someone tell me why this is being done and if there is any way to stop it?

Kare (Hodge) Grams

Costa Mesa

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