An Iowa man, who was arrested over an upside down flag, is blasting authorities for stampeding on his rights. According to local media, Homer Martz was arrested after he hung the American flag upside down in front of his home in protest of the construction of a pipeline.
To make his point, the Army veteran added the Chinese flag underneath the American one. Talking to a reporter from The Messenger, Mr. Martz explained his actions saying that a Texas company by the name of Dakota Access is currently constructing an oil pipeline that will cross into Iowa.
The government has granted Dakota Access the right to use eminent domain to take the land from landowners. The oil line is expected to pass between the soldier’s home and a well that supplies his water.
The company spoke to Mr. Martz and promised him to fix any damage that may occur during the construction, but that was not good enough, so he decided to protest. On Thursday, after police learned of Martz’s flag stunt, he was arrested and hit with a long list of charges, which includes:
“publicly mutilate, deface, defile or defy, trample upon, cast contempt upon, satirize, deride or burlesque, either by words or act, such flag, standard, color, ensign, shield, or other insignia of the United States, or flag, ensign, great seal, or other insignia of this state.”
If authorities in Iowa do not enforce the law, they could be removed from office. The man said that his rights were violated, and added:
“If they had asked me to take them down, and showed me the statute, I would have taken them down. But in my book, they trespassed by taking the flags down.”
He went on to say:
“They said, ‘You can’t do this. We have a statute.’ I said I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t have took them down, So I walked back out and put them back up, and they arrested me.”
He concluded by:
“I’m a soldier.When I walked to the airport in the ’70s with my dress uniform on, I was spit on. I stood in front of people that were protesting, and I’ve been cussed at. And like I said, that’s their rights. I’ve never infringed on their rights. But you know, freedom of speech, freedom to protest – people can burn the American flag.It’s legal. That’s the Supreme Court.”
Mr. Martz has found some support online.