November 9, 2012 - Much attention is being directed to a flag
that was flying at half-mast and upside down outside of a Brooke County restaurant on Wednesday
The flag at the McDonald's on state Route 2 in Follansbee was taken down around 11:30 a.m.
While most would consider it a sign of disrespect, it is also the signal for distress. And now, many people are questioning if the display is a protest of the election results.
A NEWS9 reporter called the restaurant Wednesday morning, and a person who answered the phone said it was the owner's decision. NEWS9 was not able to reach the store owner. However, a person who identified herself as the owner called the NEWS9 newsroom and said the employee was mistaken, and the flag was flown upside down by mistake.
In addition, a post on the Fans of WTOV9 Facebook page stated, "I just want to say: I am a manager at that McDonald's. The flag was to be flown at half-staff as per McDonald's Corporation. As for it being flown upside down--it was a complete and total accident. NO ONE at our store would PURPOSELY fly the flag upside down. Our flag pole is actually broken, and we are unable to move the flag."
Later on Wednesday, Karen Mezan, the McDonald's franchisee owner, sent an email to NEWS9 that read, "Unfortunately, a flag cable broke and during the process of trying the 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."
When a NEWS9 crew returned around 4:30 p.m., the flagpole was repaired, and three flags were flying in their proper form.
NEWS9 received numerous calls from viewers who were displeased with the display.
Lou Headman, a veteran, said, "I think that's a stab at us. It doesn't make sense why anyone would want to do that. That's a distress signal, and maybe they didn't know that, but we know that."
Headman, who is also a regular customer at the establishment, said he is not upset with McDonald's and will continue to dine there, as he feels it was a mistake.