Homer Martz is an Army veteran who recently put up a flag on his property in order to protest an oil pipeline being built without his consent directly next to a well that supplies water to his home. Martz hung up the American flag upside down directly beneath a Chinese flag.
A local newspaper reported that due to this act, Martz was arrested by the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department.
"They said, 'You can't do this. We have a statute.' I said I'm sorry but you shouldn't have took them down," Martz told reporters. "So I walked back out and put them back up, and they arrested me."
Tina Meth-Farrington, the Calhoun County Attorney claimed that Martz is in for misdemeanor charges. If he is indeed convicted he could face 30 days in jail and a fine.
Martz later admitted that he didn't know that he was breaking the law. Due to Iowa law, Martz was charged because he tried to "publicly mutilate, deface, defile or defy, trample upon, cast contempt upon, satirize, deride or burlesque, either by words or act, such flag, standard, color, ensign, shield, or other insignia of the United States, or flag, ensign, great seal, or other insignia of this state.”
Martz has legitimate fears that the oil pipeline that is being built by Dakota Access will surely break his waterline.
"If they had asked me to take them down, and showed me the statute, I would have taken them down," he said. "But in my book, they trespassed by taking the flags down."
Since the incident has occurred, Dakota Access has publically made it known that if Martz's waterline is damaged during construction, they will be more than happy to fix it.
In this situation, Martz believes that his rights were taken from him.
"I'm a soldier," he added. "When I walked to the airport in the '70s with my dress uniform on, I was spit on. I stood in front of people that were protesting, and I've been cussed at. And like I said, that's their rights. I've never infringed on their rights.
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