Flipped Flag a ‘Distress Call'

A Plainfield homeowner and business woman has drawn the ire of her neighbors for her decision to fly the American flag upside down outside her home.

Debra Brzostowski says she's flipped out over the struggling economy and is flying the inverted Star Spangled Banner as an international sign of distress. The flag went up on Nov. 14, the day the Wall Street bailout was announced, and the same day Brzostowski was denied an operating loan for her communications and wiring business.

"I want them to know this country is in distress. I'm not the only one. I'm on the verge of losing my home and my business if I can't get help somewhere," Brzostowski said.

Calling it "the hardest thing I had to do," Brzostowski said she went through her first layoff recently, closed her storefront office for ComTec and moved its business operations to her home. Her husband, Al, was also forced to shutter his business, a sign company, because of the struggling economy.

Without a response to letters she's written to representatives in Congress, the president, vide-president and president-elect, Brzostowski said flipping the flag in a symbolic gesture and taking her cause to the Internet were the only things she felt she could do.

Some neighbors frown upon the silent protest, saying that flying the Stars and Stripes upside down is a sign of disrespect.

"With the people that we have over in Iraq dying for our rights as a country. And they're obviously in distress. They're still holding the American flag high," neighbor Jennifer Hillery said.

Brzostowski said her actions are in no way a comment about the troops, instead saying that the freedoms for which they fight give her the right to protest.

"This is my symbol to the government that I'm in distress. It's a distress call," Brzostowski said.

A symbol, Brzostowski said, that will stay over her front door until the government does something to help small businesses like hers.

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