Letters to the Editor

COER can fly flag upside down all they want | Letter


The most recent Whidbey News-Times editorial titled, “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should,” chastised the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve, or COER, for flying the U.S. flag upside down at a rally intended to end landing practices at Outlying Field Coupeville and eliminate the EA-18G Growler presence on Whidbey Island.

I vehemently disagree with COER’s goals, but I also viscerally disagree with the News-Time’s editorial.

Moreover, this is not the first time the News-Times has wrong-headedly, liberally opined on issues related to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. A February 2013 editorial, titled “Carrying guns: You can, but it doesn’t mean you should,” chastised local citizens for exercising their legal right to open-carry firearms when protesting the Oak Harbor City Council meeting on a related issue.

While an active duty naval flight officer, I experienced being “spotlighted” while in the landing pattern at OLF Coupeville, an apparent attempt to blind aircrew at night by pointing high-powered searchlights as the aircraft approaches on short-final for a touch-and-go. Those searchlight-wielding knuckleheads clearly crossed the line from expressing their First Amendment-protected views to actually potentially endangering others’ lives.

That group, which also apparently wanted OLF Coupeville closed, did this spotlighting as far back as the 1980s.

However, if COER truly believes that they are flying the flag with the union down as a signal of dire distress in an instance of extreme danger to life or property, they should have at it.

William Burnett

Oak Harbor


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