You may have noticed that the most popular 37-cent stamp the Post Office sells, and the one they give you automatically if you ask for a 100-stamp roll, is the American flag. There must be millions of American flag stamps circulating every day throughout the country.
Since many people use the flag as a symbol of support for their country in the so-called War on Terror (and by association the War on Iraq, and the crackdown on immigrants and civil liberties), I've always felt uncomfortable using these flag stamps, even though, as some would say, "It's our flag, too." One can't easily be anti-flag, because then you are perceived as being anti-American, which most all of us who are opposed to war are not.
I've now found a solution to this problem, which makes me want to use these stamps even more. As I was peeling a flag off my stamp roll today, I found myself inverting it onto my credit card payment envelope. The upside down flag is almost impossible not to notice. You would have to think that whoever put that stamp on was in an awful big hurry, or is making a strong and unmistakable statement. I'm probably not the first one who has thought of this, but if this upside-down flag stamping catches on, it can be a constant reminder of growing anti-war, anti-repression sentiment.
Some might say that improperly displaying the flag is desecration, but the upside-down American flag is a universal emergency signal for distress, which is exactly what our country is in--not because of its external enemies, but because of how our own government is exploiting fear to achieve more power over its citizens and the world.