An "Unpatriotic" Flag

PIERCETON – The controversy surrounding one flag has attracted more than five-thousand viewers a video on YouTube, stirring up a lot complaints for an Indiana manufacturing company.

Five flags stand in front of the Paragon Medical headquarters in Pierceton, one for the company, the state, the United States, Switzerland, and China. But it’s just one that has got quite a few people upset, the Chinese Flag.

“I don’t think it should be there,” Jeff Turner said. He takes US 30 to work, everyday he passes the Paragon building.

“It makes me mad to see it,” Turner said.  “It just shouldn’t be next to an American Flag in front of an American company.”

The five flags have flown in front of the orthopedic manufacturer’s building for about three years, but in the last week Paragon’s Chief Financial Officer Debbie Yingling said the company been flooded with more than 30 complaints.

“People are just very upset and it doesn’t matter what we say or what we explain, they are not going to be happy with it,” Yingling said.

The controversy erupted after a video of the Chinese Flag was posted to YouTube titled, ‘Paragon Medical Flying the Flag of Communist China.’

“When the wind is blowing you’ll see some flags, one of them is a flag of Communist China,” Hal Shurteff said as he shot video of the flag. “…Right in the middle of America’s heartland.”

Shurteff is from Boston but was in Indiana for a conference when a Vietnam Veteran told him about the Chinese Flag.   

“Why would a company… want to support the most horrific regime in the history of mankind,” Shurteff said in the YouTube video.

Yingling said all the flags are up to support all of the company’s branches. “Just to state the fact and support the fact that we have manufacturing plants in those countries,” Yingling said.  “That’s the only reason, no more no less.”

Shurtleff said that’s a nice spin to put on it, but continued, “We’re telling communist china your oppressive regime is okay with us.”

Paragon Medical insist there is no political message behind the flag and the company does not support communism.

Yingling said they considered taking the flag down, but she doesn’t think the company has done anything wrong… They are simply supporting the company’s branches and employees.  

Those who oppose the Chinese Flag on American soil disagree and want the flag gone, “It’d be nice to see it taken down.” Turner said, "It's unpatriotic."

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