Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Flags

What is the symbolic meaning of an upside down flag?

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2009-01-18 19:31:12
2009-01-18 19:31:12

Flying the American flag upside down is traditionally considered a sign of distress, as it is with all national flags. The signal is one that was used primarily in past centuries (pre-1900s), on the high seas by military and merchant marine vessels alike. While the U.S. Flag Code does permit flying the flag with the union down, it specifies only "...as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

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