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Upside Down Texas Flag Update

P0006810 A few day ago we published a photo of a local elementary school flying the Texas flag upside down. Here’s an update on that story.

As a quick review, the school closed for a two week holiday, leaving the Texas flag flying upside down on their shiny new flag pole. The flagpole has a lock box for the ropes, so there wasn’t a way to correct the problem.

The school opened back up on Monday, January 7, and I assumed the situation would be corrected quickly; I was wrong. Knowing things would be hectic for a few days because of the long holiday break, I decided to wait a little longer for the correction, but nothing changed.

Wednesday morning, the flag was still flying upside down, so I turned into the parking lot and walked into the office to see if I could be of assistance. The lady at the office reception desk warmly greeted me as I walked in. I introduced myself and asked who I could speak with about the U.S. and Texas flags flying on their flagpole. When she asked, I explained I wanted to make them aware their Texas flag was flying upside down. The conversation was something like this.

Me: "Hi, I’m Larry Hendrick with Flags Bay and I wonder who I might talk to about the Texas flag flying upside down?"

Office worker, "What?"

Me: "Sorry, over the holidays I noticed the Texas flag was flying upside down, but with school out, there wasn’t anything that could be done."

OW: The flag is upside down?"

Me: "Yes"

OW: "Huh?"

Me: "Who takes care of the flags on the pole?"

OW: " The maintenance guys."

Me: "Can I speak to one of them?"

OW: "I can take a message, I don’t know where they are."

Me: "OK, will you tell them the Texas flag is upside down, please?"

OW: "The Texas flag?"

Me: "Yes"

OW: "OK"

The conversation went on for another few minutes, but didn’t get much better. Maybe she was not a native Texan. The idea that the flag had a “right side up” seems to confuse her.

A visual check yesterday showed that they have corrected the problem—the Texas flag is now right-side up.

32 thoughts on “Upside Down Texas Flag Update

  1. […] the school break for the Christmas and New Year holidays, Larry spotted the Texas flag flying upside down at our nearby elementary school (now […]

  2. Larry,

    I had the same experience with the William P Hobby building downtown. Flag upside down, called 311, went through a variety of contacts, etc. Am actually on hold as I write this with the police department to identify the next step in trying to contact someone at the facility that understands.

  3. Paul, please let us know how this adventure turns out!

  4. Larry,

    I had the same problem with Thornwood Elementary in Spring Branch ISD on Fern Dr. east of Dairy Ashford.

    I couldn’t help but stop and tell the receptionist to fix their flag.

    I hope tomorrow at lunch it is flying correctly.


  5. Hi Joe. I like to remind then that the star points to the sky. I don’t know that is helps though.
    Thanks for writing. Deborah.

  6. I am going through the same thing right now with my childs school, Blackburn Elementary. They have hung the flag upside down in the gym. My child, who is 11, told them it was upside down over a week ago. It is still not right side up. I’m emailing the school now. Who are these people and maybe they ought to join the “history” class.

    1. Lisa, I’m afraid it happens more often than we know. I’m proud that your daughter brought it to the school’s attention.

  7. The inverted Texas flag does have a unique meaning. It means Texans are in distress or have declared war. I certainly hope that it was a simple mistake and not a declaration of war on anyone.

    1. Hi Gabriel—here is what it says in the Texas flag code regarding an upside-down flag:
      Sec. 3100.053. ORIENTATION ON FLAGPOLE OR FLAGSTAFF. If the state flag is displayed on a flagpole or flagstaff, the white stripe should be at the top of the flag, except as a signal of dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property.
      The entire Texas Flag Code can be found here.

  8. Is is true the White, being on top, represents the clouds and the red on bottom represents the blood from battles protecting our state.

    1. Harold—To my knowledge, from its official adoption, there was no specific meaning assigned to the colors in the Lone Star flag. But the official retirement ceremony for the Texas flag (enacted in 2001 and added to the Texas flag code) ascribes meaning to the colors of the flag. It is found at the very end of the document.

      I have edited the text, but in short it says: The blue field in me [the flag] stands for the valor of our ancestors in the battles for our country. My white field stands for the purity in all our Texas hearts! It represents the honor that each of us should pay to our state each day. The red is for all of the men and women who have died in service of our state–whether as members of the armed services or as citizen Samaritans.

      Thank you for writing Harold. Best Wishes, Deborah

  9. I can’t stand when people do this. I have seen this on a public school, city fire station, several homes and people holding the flag in celebration. Recently, I was watching television and noticed the Texas flag is upside down on a Time Warner Cable commercial. They are talking about how it’s not right to charge for HD services and how that doesn’t fly in Texas around football season. Way to go TWC!

    1. Oh NO, Dylan. I had not noticed the Time-Warner commercial. I will look for it. I write letters and I make phone calls when I find this sort of thing. Aaargh.

  10. I was born and raised in Texas… living in California….I noticed a rural home near here that had one of those small windmills in the yard…the vane of the windmill had been painted to resemble the Texas flag, but the red was on top, with white on the bottom….I took down the address and mailed the owners a note that it was upside down, and asked if they could correct it when they got a chance…..will see what happens

    1. I understand Billy—it’s soooo frustrating. Last fall while watching the Miss America pageant on television, I noticed that the Texas flag was hung the wrong way. Years ago, I saw the flag of Chile on a flag pole at a court house in Texas. oops. I bet the flag of Maryland has gets flown upside down all the time, too. Thanks for writing, Billy

  11. This is slightly off the subject, but the flag of CHILE has been flown, by mistake, over some public buildings in Texas. Take a look at the Chile flag on-line and you can see it is pretty close to Texas

  12. Being a native Texan, I have seen the flag flown upside down many times. I believe most are just honest mistakes when attaching the flag

  13. I live across the street from Benbrook Elementary in Lanwood (North West Houston) After seeing the Texas Flag displayed upsided down several times I went online and wontacted the Houston School Board. I received a reply the next day telling me that somebody would speak to the Principal about the issue. I am disabled and leave the house only a couple times a week so have not had the opportunity to see if the problems has been corrected but if HISD does not get it right I am going to start a “war” with the various news media outlets via my computer. I have nothing better to do. Never thought I’d say this but I miss old Marvin Zindler.

  14. I have an old Army Buddy who lives in Swarthmore, Pa., (South of Philadelphia) he has a flagpole in his yard where he proudly displays the U.S. and Pennsylvania flags daily except when I come to see him. On the days I am at his ploace he flies a Texas Flag. He went “online” and learned that the white stripe goes on top. If a Yankee can get it right why can’t the people who are paid with Texan’s property tax dollars do likewise?
    (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that properly, the Texas and U.S. Standards should be displayed side by side at the same height)

    1. Yes, Don—it would be nice if all Texans could get it right—that the white stripe goes on top. There is a beautiful flag display on Hwy 281 southbound into San Antonio, and the Lone Star flag is upside-down. I can’t tell you how much I’d like to stop and fix it, but it’s on private property.

      But I must correct you on something you wrote: There is nothing in the Texas flag code that says it must be flown at the same height as our American flag. All state flags—all flags of any kind—can be flown at the same height as the U.S. flag. But the U.S. must have the right-most position of honor—and that IS written into the Texas flag code, and the U.S. Flag Code.

      Here is a link to the Texas Flag Code

      Thank you for writing, and Best Wishes, Deborah Hendrick

  15. Hi,

    I was born in Texas and am very proud of my state. However I work right around the corner from Western Ridge Apartments (Rogerdale & Richmond in Houston) and have noticed that the Texas Flag on their flag pole is upside down! It is very embarrassing and a disgrace to Texas that they continue to fly the flag upside down. I have already pointed it out to their manager, but she seemed not to care. I hope that thay fix it after writing a review on google.

  16. A used car lot on IH45 North of Houston has all their Texas Flags upside down. The car lots name is Jerry’s Cars 4 less. I called while on the road to tell them but I don’t think they understood. Please pass this on so others can stop / call in to have them correct this mistake.

  17. Last year i noticed the flag flying upside down at the SISD head quarters. I went in and told them and they seemed to be at a loss.
    I have also seen it at a neighbors house flying upside down and when I informed him he came out, took it down and threw it on the ground.

  18. Last weekend, we were hiking over the ridge of Brush Mountain in Virginia and the Texas flag at the Audie Murphy Memorial was flying upside-down. I don’t know if he is considered a Texan “in distress” because of the way that he died there or if someone just hoisted the flag upside-down on the flagpole.

    1. Well someone messed up, huh, Ken. It happens from time to time. The Lone Star always points up, or to its own right if hanging by the hoist. Thanks for writing. Best wishes, Deborah

  19. Endeavour will fly over several sites prior to landing, they include both Bush and Hobby airports, downtown Houston, the Ship Channel, Galveston, JSC and Ellington. The tentative time for the flyovers is between 9:00 am and 10:30am Wednesday morning, with a landing tentatively scheduled for 10:45am. Please note all times are estimates and subject to last minute changes. Please use the NASA links provided to keep updated on schedule changes.
    Did you see the Texas flag flying during the taxi?

    Sec. 3100.053. ORIENTATION ON FLAGPOLE OR FLAGSTAFF. If the state flag is displayed on a flagpole or flagstaff, the white stripe should be at the top of the flag, except as a signal of dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property.

    Yes we are in distress. Other large cities participating in Space flight efforts get a real shuttle, Houston gets a TOILET SEAT.

  20. I am the proud teacher of a 4th grade class. We have the distinct honor of putting up the flag each morning and the office ladies make sure each morning to check to make sure the students have done this correctly. We were curious, and I am currently working on research of why the white is on top. I want our school to get a new flag, our flags now are a little worn. Is it still proper to give flags to the VFW for proper disposal?

    1. Angela, I am delighted that you wrote—I have so many interesting things to tell you. I apologize for not responding sooner, but I was away. I have a lot to tell you, but I need a day to put it all together. I will respond here, but I will also write to you at your email address. Thanks, Deborah Hendrick

  21. Has anyone seen any movies in which the Texas flag was displayed upside down? Just last week, I saw two.

    1. I first noticed the Texas Flag upside down in Charlie Wilson’s war. It was the flag behind Charlie Wilson’s (Tom Hanks’) government office and was located behind his desk. I think it remained upside down throughout the movie in all the office scenes.

    2. The second was in only one short scene of John Wayne’s and Dean Martin’s The Sons Of Katie Elder. It appeared right side up during other scenes. Someone must have corrected the matter. I have occasionally seen folks flying their Texas flags upside down, and when not in a rush, I have gone in and made the owners’ aware.

    1. Hi Steve. I haven’t seen Charlie Wilson’s War, but I will look for it. The movie Giant (Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor) has several scenes where the Texas flag is shown upside down, and even one scene where the star is correct—pointing up—but the stripes are swapped (red on top, white on bottom)—surely a flag constructed just for the movie.

      A few years ago I was watching the Miss America pageant, where they used a giant screen to show digital imagery (not video) of the state flags, and the Texas flag was displayed incorrectly. It was just a few seconds, but after all these years I am super-alert when a flag is shown.

      Thanks for writing! Best wishes, Deborah Hendrick

  22. A good way to remember it is white to the light, red to the bed.

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