A New York City man ordered by a judge to stop displaying an American flag outside his apartment window is refusing to do so.
According to The New York Post, Eddie Desmond said he is now flying the flag upside down in protest of the ruling. And he says it will stay that way until a building official takes it down.
“When you fly the American flag upside down, it’s a distress signal,” he told The Post. “It’s not to be used lightly,” he said. “It’s life and liberty that are at stake here.”
On Friday, a Manhattan judge ruled that Desmond had to remove the flag, which is 2.5-feet by 4-feet and hangs from a pole fastened outside his third-floor window.
Board members of his Midtown building sued the 58-year-old, because they said flying the flag violated building rules against putting things in “common areas,” which include the exterior of the building. Desmond’s grandfather served in World War I and his father fought in the Korean War.
Justice Franc Perry said in his ruling that every man could consider his home his castle — but there are limits.
“His sovereign fiat to use his property as he pleases must yield, at least in degree, where ownership is in common or cooperation with others,” the judge said. “The benefits of condominium living and ownership demand no less.”
According to the judge’s ruling, the flag and pole must be dismantled. Desmond plans to appeal the ruling — though he told the newspaper he would allow someone inside to remove the flag.
Board lawyer Bruce Cholst wouldn’t comment on when the flag would be removed.