An El Paso, Colorado, man who hung an American flag upside-down outside his home now wants to set the record straight about his intentions.
Felix Gonzales argued that he hung the flag upside-down in his Antelope Ridge neighborhood home to take a stand against racism. He confirmed that the action was not meant to offend anyone or disrespect the flag.
“I didn’t want to disrespect this country because I don’t think I did,” Gonzalez told KRDO NewsChannel 13. “It was a matter of freedom of speech. It was that we are in distress in this community.”
Gonzalez noted that he felt threatened by the neighborhood management company because of his race. His children and grandchildren, who often visit, noted that they have felt the same way when visiting.
“My daughters shouldn’t have to be bothered by people asking how many kids we have living in this house,” Gonzalez said. “But if they want to know, come ask, knock on my door, be my neighbor, I’ll tell you.”
Earlier this week, Army veteran Rocky Rickard took Gonzalez’s flag down. The veteran reported that the sight of the flag had offended him. After taking it down, Rickard spent $500 on flags and gave them out to people in the neighborhood. Rickard also left a note for Gonzalez explaining that he was welcome to pick up the flag anytime.
Though Gonzalez never personally responded, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office sent two deputies to Rickard's home. Although the deputies were sympathetic, they explained that Rickard's actions were considered trespassing and vandalism. He was not cited for the crimes.
Gonzales later apologized to anyone he had offended by his actions.
(Rocky Rickard and his sons, via KRDO)
Photo Credit: KRDO