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Flip the Texas flag around; pass the knowledge down

by Christy Busby | October 14, 2016 at 3:00 a.m. | Updated October 14, 2016 at 3:01 a.m.
Christy Busby, columnist

Don't flip out; it's all turned around.

Some people were flipping out recently about a photo on our front page.

The photo depicted the Arkansas and Texas state flags being hung on the Hotel Grim building in preparation for Dine on the Line.

Taken early Tuesday, Sept. 27, the photo showed the Texas flag hanging upside down, its red stripe at the top, its white stripe at the bottom.

One passionate schoolteacher from the DeKalb area called early Wednesday, the day the photo ran, to report that wasn't the proper way to fly the Lone Star State's flag.

She was seeing red all right, but it was a flash of fiery passion as she spoke about the Texas state flag and the proper way to display its colors.

"The red at the top means the person is in distress," she reported.

The Texas flag has the same colors of the U.S. flag. For the Lone Star State, the blue stripe represents loyalty, white stripe for purity and red stripe for bravery. Some also believe the red stripe represents the blood spilled during the battle for independence.

A proud Texan, the caller taught her students about the red stripe traditionally displayed on the bottom.

In fact, some of her students are known to inform neighbors and businessmen when state flags are not flying in proper fashion. Her students know correct flag code and procedure.

The teacher relayed a story of passing by a business kids frequented during the week of spring break. The business' flag was flying with the red stripe up, a flag faux pas for sure.

She parked, entered the business and asked one of the employees if the workers were in distress.

"We are stressed," the employee said about the spring break onslaught. "But we aren't in distress."

The school teacher informed the employee about the proper was to fly the flag and the situation was immediately righted.

This school teacher is a firecracker for sure, a defender of the Lone Star State's flag.

Someone as passionate so early in the morning truly made my day.

She wanted the number of the person who had improperly hung the flag to set the matter, and the flag, straight.

Though congenial and polite, the school teacher was on a mission. I chuckled silently, thinking if she reached the person who hung the flag incorrectly, he or she might find themselves in some stress or distress.

Hailing from Texas, I knew the teacher had a valid point, but the picture was shot looking up at the flags from street level.

To get myself oriented correctly, I walked outside to look at the flags.

Lo and behold, the Texas flag was flying properly, red stripe down and white stripe up, one whole day after the photo was shot.

Apparently someone recognized the mistake and made it right after the photo was taken Tuesday and before it was published Wednesday.

The camera doesn't lie, the flag was upside down when the picture was taken.

We took another photo of the flag flying with the red stripe down and ran both photos, explaining what had happened, in our print and online editions.

It was lesson for some on our staff, those not native to the state. They had no idea the red stripe on the Lone Star State's flag is to fly down until this photo was published and discussion ensued.

As the University of Texas at Austin's spirit song states, "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You."

Apparently, too, the eyes of some Texans are upon the state flag to ensure its correct display. The school teacher's phone call was followed by the calls of some other eagle-eyed and knowledgeable readers who knew how the flag should fly.

A few weeks after the Dine the Line event, the state flags still hang at the Hotel Grim building and I'm happy to report things are still right side up, or red stripe down, shall we say.


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