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McDonald's hangs upside-down flag

Jill Treacy

A McDonald's upside-down flag causes uproar in W. Va. town

Upside-down and at half-mast, the flag causes post-election controversy


A McDonald’s upside-down flag caused controversy Wednesday morning when many speculated that it was meant to disgrace the re-election of President Obama. Local veterans in the Follansbee, W.Va. town were dismayed at the upside-down flag, saying it was disrespectful. Passersby noticed the upside-down flag hanging at half-mast, alerted staff and it was taken down around 11:30 a.m.

The McDonald’s upside-down flag is raising eyebrows and many in the town are puzzled why the fast-food restaurant would make such a bold statement. A flag flown upside-down is a distress signal and when Channel 11 News crew called the McDonald’s, they were told it was the “owner’s decision.” The McDonald’s owner has since released a statement saying the upside-down flag was a mistake.

“Unfortunately, a flag cable broke and during the process of trying to fix the flag, it was inadvertently turned upside down. It wasn’t noticed that the flag was upside down until a customer inquired about it. We are working on fixing the flag right now. It’s important to note that this was an accident, not intentional,” owner Karen Mezza said.

War veterans of the Follansbee, W. Va. area brought attention to the severity of the mistake and were puzzled why the McDonald’s would want to hang an upside-down flag. A manager of the restaurant posted on a news-station’s Facebook page, saying the flag was flown at half-mast per corporate request but that it was upside-down was “a complete and total accident. NO ONE at our store would PURPOSELY fly the flag upside down.”

The McDonald’s flagpole has been fixed and the upside-down flag is now hanging appropriately.

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