Update: Drum 'Monitoring' Copenhagen Flag Situation

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Fort Drum officials are "monitoring the situation," after a soldier flew American flags upside down outside her home in Copenhagen for several days.

Lieutenant Colonel David Konop said the soldier was spoken to by someone in the chain of command, though he would not be more specific.

Konop would not identify the soldier, though neighbors have named her as Melissa Coss.

Konop would also not say whether any action has been taken against the soldier.

While there are rules against soldiers speaking or acting in ways that discredit the military, Konop said "the history of the soldier" would be a factor in deciding whether charges would be pursued.

The soldier told 7 News over the weekend that she was flying the flags upside down to protest the re-election of President Obama.

A neighbor said the flags were removed Monday evening.

Our story from earlier in the week...

According to the U.S. Flag Code, flying the American flag upside down is a recognized signal of distress.

That's just the message one Fort Drum soldier has been trying to send with the two flags she's flying outside her Copenhagen home.

The woman would not give us her name or speak on camera because of her affiliation with the military.

But she did tell 7 News she is hanging her flags upside down to protest President Barack Obama's reelection.

It's a move that has divided the Copenhagen community and beyond.

"I think them flags is kind of a disgrace - my own personal opinion," said Warner St. Louis, who lives in Copenhagen.

"Too many people have given their life for that flag to fly it improperly," said SFC Lee Hinkleman (Ret.), post commander of the Lowville American Legion.

"It's whatever she wants to do. It's her own opinion. She can do what she likes," said Chad Tessier, who lives in Copenhagen.

Whether you like it or not, the fact is, flying the flag upside down is protected as free speech by the Constitution - for most Americans.

However, it gets sticky in this case because the woman behind the display is an active duty military member.

"As a military person, you fall under entirely separate, different rules. When you're in the military, you're government property, so that's going to be something that hopefully Drum will address," said Lee.

Fort Drum says its still looking into the situation.

Right now, it can't say whether the soldier's actions are covered by what's called the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

If they are, she could face disciplinary action.
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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