Vietnam Vet Arrested for Hanging US Flag Upside Down to Protest Eminent Domain

upside-down-flagBy Matt Agorist

Homer Martz is a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran who’s never committed a crime. He is so dedicated to protecting and practicing his rights that he stood up for the rights of people to protest the Vietnam war — even after they spat on him. So, when Homer Martz is arrested for doing nothing other than practicing the very rights he stands to protect, and the flag that ostensibly represents them — something has gone awry.

Last week Martz attempted to practice the very rights that the United States government claims its military protects, and for this, he was arrested.

For hanging a flag upside down on his own property, Homer Martz was kidnapped by state agents and charged with a crime.

Hanging the flag upside down is an international symbol of distress. Martz was voicing his distress after the government had violated his property rights at the behest of big oil. Without his consent, through the process of eminent domain, Martz was told that he’d have to accept a portion of a 1,134-mile oil pipeline built by Texas-based Dakota Access LLC. The line would go right through the middle of his property between his home and his water well.

All Martz asked was that the company move the pipeline 150 feet over to avoid the potential danger of interfering with his water supply. But he was denied.

Martz didn’t grab an AR-15 and go shoot up a crowd, he didn’t even make a sign and protest city hall. Instead, this innocent man chose to make a statement at his own house. Martz hung his American flag upside down under a Chinese flag and wrote the following statement on his flag pole:

In China there is no freedom, no protesting, no due process. In Iowa? In America?

“About 11 o’clock two Calhoun County sheriffs walked up to my door,” Martz told the Messenger last week.

One of the officers was carrying his two flags.

“They said, ‘You can’t do this. We have a statute.’ I said I’m sorry but you shouldn’t have took them down,” he said. “So I walked back out and put them back up, and they arrested me.”

These brave public servants knew they were doing wrong, but they don’t make the laws, they just enforce them.

Under an Iowa statute, desecration of the flag is a simple misdemeanor, said Calhoun County Attorney Tina Meth-Farrington after Martz’ arrest. If convicted, Martz could be fined and face up to 30 days in jail.

Iowa code 718A makes it a misdemeanor to “publicly mutilate, deface, defile or defy, trample upon, cast contempt upon, satirize, deride or burlesque, either by words or act, such flag, standard, color, ensign, shield, or other insignia of the United States, or flag, ensign, great seal, or other insignia of this state,” among other things.

The good news is that these tyrants finally realized that they were breaking federal law by arresting Martz. In 2014, Iowa ruled the very law they used to arrest Martz unconstitutional. However, they never repealed it.

Meth-Farrington says sheriff’s deputies who charged Martz weren’t aware courts had struck down the law. She called on lawmakers to repeal it immediately “so that other citizens and law enforcement are not caught in this type of situation again.”

On Monday, all charges against Martz were dropped. 

Land of the free?

Last month, we reported on a man from central Pennsylvania who was  also kidnapped by police and deprived of his rights for doing nothing more than hanging an American flag upside down on his own property. Joshua Brubaker has since settled a civil rights lawsuit against the city for more than $55,000.

In the famous Supreme Court case of Texas v. Johnson in 1989, a five-justice majority ruled that desecrating the American flag was protected speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Despite this ruling, Americans from sea to shining sea continue to call for the arrest, or even death, of those who’d dare express their opinion through the use of the Old Glory.

The very essence of freedom is tolerating peaceful forms of expression, no matter how uncomfortable they make us feel. Sadly missing the point, however, are folks who fail to understand that burning or desecrating a flag without fear of punishment from one’s government, is what liberty is all about.

When a society becomes more concerned with a piece of cloth than the freedom it is meant to represent, it’s time to wake up.

As a former member of the USMC, I am unoffended when I see flag set ablaze or stepped on or upside down — because I see it as an act of expression by a group who feels oppressed.

Those who feel oppressed must never be silenced.

Throughout history, the ‘patriotic’ majority has been responsible for most of the atrocities committed against our fellow humans. Only because of a handful of irate freedom loving individuals, unafraid to challenge the status quo, do we have any semblance of liberty in America today.

A true patriot is never a member of the majority who calls for their opposition to be silenced with State force because their views are ‘offensive.’ No, a true patriot is the one who refuses to be intimidated in the face of this violently obstinate collective.

Matt Agorist is the co-founder of, where this article first appeared. He is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

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39 Comments on "Vietnam Vet Arrested for Hanging US Flag Upside Down to Protest Eminent Domain"

  1. per sigurd hansen | August 16, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Reply

    this is wrong,just wrong.

  2. with all due respect to Homer Martz, are you sure he is a Vietnam veteran? I am three years older than Mr. Martz and AM an Army veteran, two and a half years overseas during Nam. They pretty much stopped sending significant numbers of troops there by 1972. He would have been 18 or 19 years old then. Just saying, because the last “Vietnam Veteran” I met looked a tad young and I asked his birthdate and he said “1962”. Let me tell ya, there were no 6 year old U.S. soldiers during the Tet offensive.

    • A) Why would it matter to the subject of the story? and
      B) People enlisted (stupidly) or were drafted at 18 or 19 all the time.

      • it matters because if he lied about that, I’m not interested in his troubles. And look at the dates again – at most, he might have been deployed at the very end there, when significant combat ops were over. OK, Vietnam Vet.

      • Many enlisted straight out of high school because they figured they would be called up anyway. I knew several from my small town who did so.

        • I knew a number who were told by judges when they got in a bit of trouble that they could go in the military or go to jail. They chose badly, I think.

      • As the great philosopher Forest Gump said…stupid is as stupid does.
        I enlisted and was in basic training six days after my seventeenth birthday in 1967 (my parents signed me in) so Amor ….Eat feces and die!

        • No thanks. But maybe you should go do a little reading to find out what you were really getting shot at for. Start with the Pentagon Papers. Hint: it wasn’t freedom and stopping the red stain.

    • I was class of 73, and one of my buddies was an embassy guard, and on the last chopper out from the Saigon Embassy.

      • Presuming Mr. Martz joined sometime after high school graduation in 1971, he would have gone through training and probably arrived in Vietnam by early 1972 – maybe later, depending upon his MOS training. By January 1972, U.S. troop strength in Nam had drawn down from over 500,000 to about 132,000 and conrtinued to drop precipitously – Congress cut off funding for the war altogether in January 1973. Maybe Mr. Martz did make it over there, despite the lopsided reverse troop movements to stateside. But much less likely if he didn’t join or get drafted immediately following high school graduation in 1971.

        • You have a valid point. I was in the last draft in 73, but no one was called up from it. I tried to get in the Army in early 75. They Promised (LOL) that I could be a chopper pilot after boot camp and warrant officer school. They waved the fact I had to wear glasses and very color blind. Unfortunately I failed the physical due to a shoulder problem. After my surgery the war was totally over and the offer was off the table.

          I’d say there was a good chance he could of been over there. I’m familiar about the withdrawals. It’s very likely he didn’t do a 13 month tour. It’s also possible they meant to say Vietnam era veteran too.It’s also very possible he could be lying about being over there as well. One of my best friends was in in 67-68, but wasn’t considered a Vietnam vet because he was in Cambodia and Laos with the 82nd and Air America for 13 months. Look at how many politicians make up a phony SRB, and bogus decorations.

          Regardless, we all know what an upside down flag means. Frankly I’ve thought of doing it myself.

          I get cards from the American Legion, and the VFW all the time saying I’m eligible (I was in the corps from 76 -78). I always send them back saying I’m not eligible, but they still keep sending them to me. I was in one of the last platoons to go through boot with the high stress Vietnam era training.

          • I spent my last 9 months overseas at an army headquarters in Europe. By that point, even the guys they were rotating through Europe before sending their traumatised butts home were all gone, other than the lifers. And with all due respect to the insanity of Vietnam, there was another little imbroglio which – at least from our very near immersion in it – the American people know almost nothing about. . I’ve heard a lot of bad things about Henry Kissinger and believe all of it, but having been rather close to the events, I can tell you he may have saved us from a war that might have left us not talking here today. Maybe at another discussion thread. We’ll title it “How Henry the K saved the world from nuclear war by losing his briefcase” (long enough for us to have a better bargaining position, from a military logistics sense).

    • Thank you and bless you and all your brothers and sisters in arms for your service and welcome home

    • Bookoodinkydow | August 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Reply

      I’m also a 63 year old Vietnam veteran. Served as a radio man with the First Air Cav. Only served six months “in country” and our whole unit was withdrawn. I was 19 at the time (born 1952).

    • Nemesis du Avocat | August 17, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Reply

      I thought 1972 was last year of lottery,anyway I quit worrying about it after that.
      As I remember , most the guys that saw action were born prior to Homers likely birth year of 1953. However I personally knew one classmate born that year that did not make it back.
      Perhaps Homer volunteered to what he believed was ” stop Communism” ..
      The FED fraud was not nearly so obvious then.
      Regardless, I have deep respect for those who went to Nam

  3. ” Want to really find out who rules over you?…simply find out whom you’re not allowed to criticize” -Voltaire

  4. James Bennett | August 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Reply

    It’s not what ‘they’ do…

    it’s what you do.

  5. Don’t let Hillary steal the election. Trump is way ahead right now. Look at any non-MSM poll or at social media stats. Look at the views on youtube, and most of Hillary’s views are people logging in to downvote. We need to prepare for massive fraud. Here’s a great idea: WEAR RED FOR TRUMP! Spread the word.

  6. Well, the flag this country fought under, in reality is not the same flag- not the same gov’t, rules, laws, or system anymore. In my convicted opinion, our flag should be taken down…seems no one wants to fight for anymore, the unjustices, crooked politicians, unfair laws, etc. People only want to complain and gossip. No one is taking up arms….but many are in fact leaving this country….maybe that’s best; our ancestors did it…either they were going to fight, or flee…they fled.

  7. The Constitution states that Federal law trumps state laws:
    ” Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 , 404-6 (1989). As recently as four months ago, in Congine v. Village of Crivitz, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin extended citizens’ expressive rights by holding that it is a constitutional violation to forbid the public display of an upside down American flag.”

    It would appear the Iowa law is unconstitutional as a violation of free speech.

  8. “sheriff’s deputies who charged Martz weren’t aware courts had struck down the law.”

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse!

    “On Monday, all charges against Martz were dropped. ”

    I would NOT allow that to happen. I would refuse to leave my cell until given an arraignment before a real judge and given a date for a JURY TRIAL as guaranteed by the constitution. We cannot allow the pigs an “oops” when they screw up this badly.

    • John P. Slevin | August 17, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Reply

      @vladilyich:disqus Not the way to handle it. When charges are dropped there is nothing to be tried. Are you clear on the concept? The cops made a mistake. The prosecutor had no case so dropped the charges. Why would anyone want a trial for something they aren’t charged with and how would such a trial be proper? As for a civil suit… there’s no reason the arrested person cannot sue 🙂

  9. Mr.Homer Martz. “Sue the bastards.” Ignorance of the law by these dumbed-down nazis is no excuse.

  10. I have hung mine upside down for the past 3 years. No one even noticed. How freaking sad is that.

    • Nemesis du Avocat | August 17, 2016 at 6:43 pm | Reply

      Yep way to go. I put those flag postage stamps upside down as well. To pretend that America is not in distress is foolish at best

  11. I too am a VN vet and my flag is flying upside down also. When the law is administered equally I shall return the flag to it’s proper attitude, when Hillary answers for her crimes I will begin to believe again in equal justice for all.
    Until then if called for jury duty I will not sit in judgement of anyone, if the powerful need not fear the law why should anyone?

  12. land of the free? gone gone gone!

  13. Well, I understand that was always the thinking. But volunteering to get shot at or be near-slave labor to achieve some geopolitical aims (read: nefarious scheme) that some fat rich guys come up with and don’t wish to share with us peons has always struck me as not a particularly good use of one’s time.

    • I get that. With age you get wisdom. You can get quite an education in the military though. In my case it really wasn’t true (stopping a 747 in 1000 feet was never in the real world). I did get out of it was how the government really works.

      The fact is most if not all join to keep our borders safe. Yes they all fall for the slight of hand as they say. It’s a safe bet this is why most vets are on the terrorist watch list. The fact is that vets make up a small percentage of the population, yet they’re the majority that do challenge the government. A common saying with vets is “I love my country, but hate my government.” Nothing is worse than a vet that realizes they were duped.

      • I understand that altruism has been the historic reason for people to join the military. That’s why I don’t hold hostility toward most vets–they tried to do what they thought was right. Most who fail to understand what really happened to them only do so because they refuse to acknowledge it–a sort of worst case cognitive dissonance. Fortunately, I think more and more-especially the youngest ones–are “getting it.” And I’d say the only thing that vets who realize they were duped are “worst” about is for continuing to be patsies for the folks who duped them.

  14. Our commanding oficer entered ourt barracks at about 10 P.M. one night during the Yom Kippur War. He said, “pack your duffel bags. We may be in Israel by morning”. That’s all the other guys heard, but I had just returned from Israel. .There’s only so much I can write here. The officer over my office had departed for Bonn, where Kissinger was stopping on his way to Moscow. Kissinger “lost” his briefcase, during which time planes and troops were being assembled at Ramstein AFB. There were 7 Soviet Airborne divisions – 115,000 troops – assembled at Sheremetev field with Antonov troop carriers. Their purpose was to seize the Suez Canal. By the time Kissinger had recovered his briefcase…….Yuri Andropov told him “We will not fight a nuclear war over Syria and Egypt”. Your name indicates you’re Jewish……maybe you remember how this near-disaster arose, when General Sharon told General Elizer to go commit the standard anatomical impossibility, when instructed to break off his invasion across the Suez into Egypt..

    I’ve heard so many predictions about the infamous bank holiday and financial collapse that it’s beginning to sound like Nibiru. A few weeks ago, I saw an interview with one of those gnomes at the BIIS in Basel. At one point when pressed with apocalyptic scenarios, he responded, “there are things we can do” even in those scenarios. Hmmm… adding real value to the money? Yada yada, do what you think is best. Don’t leave out prayer.

  15. Bless YOU for posting War Is a Racket. Every American should read that book, annually. And I’m sorry you were sucked into the hype, back when. Nearly everyone was, at one time or another. But you get it now, and that’s the point of every day we spend on this planet–learning something.

  16. So attempted murder is entertaining to you?


  17. Tell you what: send me all of your paper currency, and I’ll take really good care of it.

    After all, it’s just paper, right?

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