Two Marines became incensed after seeing protesters in Albuquerque drive by with the American flag upside-down. The men snatched the flag after the protesters dropping it on the ground, and then began walking away.
Another man, who looked like he might have been part of the protest as well, approached them and started arguing about the symbolism. One of the Marines responded, “I don’t give a f**k what the symbol is. We serve our f**king country and that’s bulls**t.”
The video has drawn a great deal of controversy since it was first posted on March 31. Marine Maj. Brian Cillissen said in a phone interview with KRQE, “I would say the most disrespectful thing that happened in that video is the flag being tossed on the ground. There are a lot of folks that have a lot of passion about that flag and want to protect it at all costs, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we’re in the service to support and defend the Constitution.”
The U.S. flag code states, “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” The protesters were demonstrating against the Albuquerque police force for killing homeless man James Boyd.