American Flags Turned Upside-Down in Monrovia After Trump Verdict

The reversed display was once a sailor’s signal of distress but has become a protest symbol.
American Flags Turned Upside-Down in Monrovia After Trump Verdict
Several American flags on display outside Monrovia’s public library were flipped upside-down overnight following the conviction of former President Donald Trump on May 30. City workers fixed the flags. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)
Jill McLaughlin
5/31/2024
Updated:
6/2/2024
0:00

MONROVIA, Calif.–City workers found dozens of American flags displayed outside the city of Monrovia’s public library flipped upside-down early May 31.

It was unclear to many passersby in the quiet suburb’s historic downtown, located about 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles, why the flags were reversed, but many speculated it was in reaction to former President Donald Trump’s conviction in New York the day before.

Displaying the Stars and Stripes upside-down was once a signal of distress for sailors but lately has been used as a protest symbol by various groups across the political spectrum, most recently at Black Lives Matter protests.

A city public works crew quickly reversed the flags, which required workers to cut and replace zip ties and reassemble them on the sidewalk in front of the library, then reported the incident to local police.

Police said they found a number of the flags turned upside down overnight, but didn’t plan to open an investigation.

“None of the flags were damaged, tampered with, or vandalized in any way,” Monrovia Police Watch Commander Lt. Y. Juarez told The Epoch Times.

The patriotic display in Library Park was put in place as a tribute to fallen military servicemen and women for Memorial Day Monday. The flags remained up in preparation for the city’s community picnic to celebrate veterans scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Evelyn Ochoa of Monrovia was spending the peaceful afternoon at the park Friday with her young daughter and noticed the overnight switch.

Police say they received a report about the upside-down flags, once a signal of distress for sailors, Friday morning from the city’s public works department. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)
Police say they received a report about the upside-down flags, once a signal of distress for sailors, Friday morning from the city’s public works department. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)

“I guess I’m curious to know the intentions behind it,” Ms. Ochoa told The Epoch Times. “I do feel like we’re in distress as a world with everything going on with Palestine and all of that … or with Trump. I wonder if it was [done] for solidarity.”

Most passersby didn’t realize anything happened to the flags earlier that day.

Jaqueline C., of West Covina, hadn’t heard about the incident as she walked with her son down South Myrtle Avenue in front of Library Park. After hearing more about it, she disapproved.

“I think it’s disrespectful,” she told The Epoch Times. “Especially since they come here to the land of the free. I’m really against that.”

Similar reports of upside-down flags outside homes and on display emerged in cities across the United States following Trump’s verdict, with many shared on social media.

Trump was convicted of 34 business-records falsification charges. An appeal is expected, legal experts said.

Flags on display in Monrovia. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)
Flags on display in Monrovia. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)
Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.