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Deerfield Fish & Game Club flies American Flag upside down as sign of distress, some members concerned

By NICOLE PITT

DEERFIELD, N.Y. (WKTV) - An American Flag is at the center of a fight in Deerfield. The Deerfield Fish & Game Club is flying one of it's flags upside down on purpose.

It started with the passage of the New York Safe Act. Governer Andrew Cuomo unveiled the act just a few days before the club's annual meeting- and it was then- the board voted to turn the flag upside down-- as a sign of distress.

"We are being wrongfully punished for liking guns," says club president Charles Ellsworth. Ellsworth says the inverted flag is an international sign of distress, showing the club's displeasure with the New York Safe Act.

Dave Brosmer is a club member whose son was killed while serving in the military. Brosmer says flying the flag upside down is a slap in the face. "The flag flying upside down means someone is in trouble and there is no one in trouble there," said Brosmer.

"The people who have opposed it think we are desecrating the flag and it is not desecration," said Ellsworth. "It is a simple act of letting every one know, every one here at the range know, that we are wrongfully being denied 2nd Amendment rights."

Dave Corr is a club member. His son Joseph Corr was shot and killed in the line of duty back in 2006. "I think most people, and I can't speak for everybody, but most people really feel within the club, we understand the problems. A lot of us are former law enforcement and we understand what the real problems are and the real problems are criminals. You could pass all these laws. Why the governor seems to think criminals are going to obey those laws when they won't obey the others. If i'm going to hold up a jewelry store or something I'm not going to sit there and worry if i've got 6, 10 or 20 rounds in a magazine."

Brosmer says he actually changed the flag to fly right side up-- but someone switched it back again. "I believe if a trooper went up there and saw the flag he'd ask them- who is in trouble?"

"I served this flag," said Ellsworth. "So anybody that thinks this was done to desecrate the flag is way out of line."

Ellsworth said out of 850 members, there have only been a couple of complaints. It was even discussed further at another board meeting and another vote was held, and it was decided to keep the flag upside down.

"Being a Vietnam veteran and a member for over 40 years with the Deerfield Fish & Game Club, I am overcome with disgust that my club would violate our nation's flag
distinction as it has," said Evan Pearl. "I agree that we are are facing 2nd amendment issues, but we cannot stoop to theatrical tactics in objecting to unacceptable policy legislated by our elected officials."

Ellsworth says the flag will remain upside down until the NY Safe Act is repealed, or the members vote to have it changed.

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