FLEMING ISLAND, Fla.-- As the sun sets on another Veterans Day, a controversial new fad is flying high in Clay County. Two flipped over flags have neighbors flipping out over what they call a disgrace to those who have served.
But one of the men behind the stunt says he means no disrespect for Veterans. A navy Vet himself, Philip Hoelzel tells us his upside-down flag is an old Navy sign of distress. This one he says is for our country, and its current condition.
"Our government is in so much trouble," Hoelzel told Action News. "We're $14 trillion in debt and we've got idiots! I'm not talking about Democrats. I'm not talking about Republicans, nobody's doing anything," he said.
In Fleming Island, Hoelzel flipped his flag after he learned Obama was re-elected, and he's not alone. Just down the road in Middleburg another family has done the same.
"It may start a movement, but it's the only thing I can do as an individual," said Hoelzel.
Most of Hoezel's block seem to support him; they say he's simply exercising his American rights.
"I agree with his right to do with that flag as he would like to, he is not burning it," said neighbor, Christine Burdien.
Others told Action News they are shocked by the bold statements, they are stunned by their neighbors whom they held so much respect for, so they are keeping quiet to avoid even more controversy.
Hoelzel says he has no immediate plans on when to return the flags to normal, but he says at least until the next election, or until change is seen in our country.