Altus man stirs controversy: Hangs Old Glory at half-staff, upside down - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Altus man stirs controversy: Hangs Old Glory at half-staff, upside down

Altus_An Altus man has caused some controversy by flying his United States flag at half-staff and upside down.  Flying Old Glory upside down is a distress signal in the United States.  John Kolvitz says he's doing it because he doesn't like the direction the nation is headed.  He says he began flying the flag at half-staff when President Barack Obama was elected, and turned it upside down on Inauguration Day.  Kolvitz's actions have caused a stir in his neighborhood, and one neighbor in particular does not approve.

A friend of Patrick Madl called 7News to inform the station that Madl would be sending a letter to the Mayor of Altus.  He says it's a disgrace to every veteran who has ever served their country.  However, Kolvitz says America is in distress, and he's free to express that distress - even if it means turning the Stars and Stripes on its head.  "People just don't have respect for the country anymore," he said.  "They allow politicians to lie through their teeth, and they re-elect them - it doesn't make any sense."

Madl says he disagrees, and flies his flag at full staff, right-side up.  He says he thinks everyone else should, too.  "That flag doesn't stand for Democrat or Republican," he said.  "It doesn't have anything to do with the form of government we have."  Kolvitz says he agrees with that assertion.  "I believe the state of the country's got as much to do with Republicans as I do Democrats - I'm an Independent," he said.  "I don't like either party."

Madl says he is so upset about Kolvitz's political statement that he has typed up a letter to the Mayor of Altus, although he has yet drop it in the mail.  He says he already has contacted the police.  "My research has told me that it is not illegal - due to the First Amendment - but it's still a great disrespect to every veteran that has ever been," he said.  Kolvitz also is a veteran, and says he believes freedom of speech is part of why he fought.  "I served my country for 20 years in the Air Force," he said.  "I still get goose-bumps when they play ‘God Bless America.'" 

Altus Police Chief Mike Patterson says Kolvitz's actions are legal under the First Amendment, and it's no different than if Kolvitz had put a banner up in his yard demonstrating his displeasure.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Ford recalls 570K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Ford recalls 570K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 1:05 PM EDT2017-03-29 17:05:19 GMT
    Wednesday, March 29 2017 1:05 PM EDT2017-03-29 17:05:19 GMT

    Ford is recalling more than 440,000 vehicles in North America to fix problems that can cause engine fires and doors to open unexpectedly.

    Ford is recalling more than 440,000 vehicles in North America to fix problems that can cause engine fires and doors to open unexpectedly.

  • Oklahoma governor names ex-state senator for Tax Commission

    Oklahoma governor names ex-state senator for Tax Commission

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 12:52 PM EDT2017-03-29 16:52:54 GMT
    Clark JolleyClark Jolley

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed former state Sen. Clark Jolley to the state Tax Commission.

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed former state Sen. Clark Jolley to the state Tax Commission.

  • One dead following crash caused by high winds on I-40

    One dead following crash caused by high winds on I-40

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 12:36 PM EDT2017-03-29 16:36:07 GMT

    A truck driver is dead after a crash caused by extreme winds on an Oklahoma interstate. Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the driver was heading east on I-40 near El Reno when winds pushed the truck into the cable barrier and caused it to roll. Troopers say the driver, who has not been identified, was partially ejected through the driver side window and was pinned for about an hour. The medical examiner says the person died at the scene.

    A truck driver is dead after a crash caused by extreme winds on an Oklahoma interstate. Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the driver was heading east on I-40 near El Reno when winds pushed the truck into the cable barrier and caused it to roll. Troopers say the driver, who has not been identified, was partially ejected through the driver side window and was pinned for about an hour. The medical examiner says the person died at the scene.

Powered by Frankly