Man Paid $55,000, Arrested For Flying Flag Upside Down


Officials in Allegheny Township, Pennsylvania, have agreed to pay Joshuaa Brubaker more than $55,000 because Brubaker was arrested in May 2014 for flying an upside down flag.

The township's insurance carrier will write out the check to Brubaker, according to The Altoona Mirror.

Brubaker, who is of Native American heritage, also spray-painted "AIM" on the flag. AIM is short for the American Indian Movement, notes The Associated Press.

He flew the flag upside down with the spray-painted letters to protest TransCanada's proposed Keystone Pipeline, which would have been laid on South Dakota property where the famous Wounded Knee Massacre happened in 1890.

In 2014, Allegheny Township Police Assistant Chief L.J. Berg told WPXI how upset he was by the upside down flag: "I was offended by it when I first saw it. I had an individual stop here at the station, a female, that was in the military and she was very offended by it."

Berg physically removed the Stars and Stripes from Brubaker's home, and charged the homeowner with desecration and insults to the American flag; the misdemeanor charges were later dropped by a judge.

"I removed it from the building, folded it properly and seized it as evidence," Berg added.

"I found that Wounded Knee is now up for sale, not only privately, but commercially," Brubaker said at the time. "It’s just not right, and simply because I express myself in a way that somebody else doesn’t like or agree with doesn’t mean I should be persecuted for having beliefs."

Brubaker noted that he had family members serve in the U.S. military, and added, "If I don’t have the right to fly that flag upside down, which means a symbol of distress, which this country is in so much distress right now, then what’s the point of having it?"

Berg countered: "Too many people made too many sacrifices to protect the flag and to have this happen in my community, I’m not happy with that."

In addition to the $55,000 paid by the insurance company, the township had to pay for cost of the arrest of Brubaker and his court hearing.

Sources: The Altoona Mirror, AP via KDKA, WPXI / Photo credit: Derived from Wikimedia Commons

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