Veteran staging upside-down flag protest over Trump's presidency targeted by thieves

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 06:09PM
Kristin Thorne reports on a man staging a flag protest on Long Island.

EAST PATCHOGUE, Long Island - A veteran on Long Island is staging an election protest at his home.

James Klein hung an American flag upside down at his home on Inauguration Day to protest President Donald Trump, who Klein believes is dangerous for the country.

Klein, who served in the Navy, said since putting the flag up he's received hate mail and nasty calls from people. The comments from his fellow veterans hurt him the most.

"A lot of veterans are doing it to me too, and the veterans understand, when they raise their hand they uphold the Constitution," he said. "This is my constitutional right to do this. The veterans just don't understand that."

A few days after putting the flag up outside his home in East Patchogue, someone stole it. Klein bought another one and put it back up again.

He now has a spotlight on the flag at night to try to deter would-be thieves.

Neighbors have also turned security cameras towards the flagpole.

"People think I'm not patriotic. I'm not disrespecting that flag. I'm disrespecting the man who got into office," said Klein.

Klein says Trump is taking the country in the wrong direction. "It means distress. The country is in distress. And that's how I feel with Donald Trump in," he said.

Klein joined the Navy when he was only 17. His father was a decorated war hero.

"My dad fought in the Battle of Okinawa in World War 11. He was shot by a Japanese sniper and he received a Purple Heart. He also received a Bronze Star for saving some guys," said Klein. "My dad fought for the rights to the constitution, just like everybody else."

Klein's neighbors are standing by him not because they necessarily agree with him but because they say he doesn't deserve to be treated like a criminal.

"What's upsetting to me is he's such a kind man. To be receiving all this hate mail, the comments and all that. You don't know Mr. Klein. He's the best neighbor around," said neighbor Kim Marder.
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