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article imageOwners say upside down flag at McDonald's restaurant a mistake

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 8, 2012 in World
Follansbee - An upside down American flag flying at a McDonald's restaurant the day after the election had generated a lot of attention. The owners of the West Virginia-based establishment say the upside down flag was a mistake.
Reports of an upside down American flag sparked controversy yesterday after it was observed flying at half-mast leaving people wondering if this was a political statement or protest of Tuesday's election results.
A crew from WPXI News 11 went out to visit the Follansbee, West Virginia McDonald's restaurant. The news outlet reported the channel's sister station, WTOV, saw the flag in question earlier in the day and captured images of it.
Initially, allegedly an employee said that the decision to fly the flag in this manner was the owners. However, later on the owner said the employee was mistaken.
WTOV 9 News reported a poster on network's Facebook page wrote, "I just want to say: I am a manager at that McDonald's. The flag was to be flown at half-staff as per McDonald's Corporation. As for it being flown upside down--it was a complete and total accident. NO ONE at our store would PURPOSELY fly the flag upside down. Our flag pole is actually broken, and we are unable to move the flag."
Screen shot from WPXI-TV News 11 Facebook page
Screen shot from WPXI-TV News 11 Facebook page
Karen Mezan, franchisee owner of the McDonald's in question, also said the flag being upside down was a mistake, reported Channel 11. Mezan indicated the flag had been raised in the dark about 4:30 a.m. local time and the mistake was fixed as soon as it was realized. Media reports indicate this was several hours later, about 11:30 a.m.
"Unfortunately, a flag cable broke and during the process of trying the fix the flag, it was inadvertently turned upside down," Mezan said in an email to the station. "It wasn't noticed that the flag was upside down until a customer inquired about it."
According to, ยง176. Respect for flag (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."
While some people believe this was a mistake, not everyone is convinced. WPXI posted a link to their story on Facebook and it has garnered a lot of responses. At time of writing, the post has 2,973 comments and 1,423 shares.
Video can be seen on WTOV 9's website.
More about Mcdonalds, upside down flag, West Virginia, 2012 election
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