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2009

June 27: Robert Rosebrock and the Veterans Revolution group display upside down flags (a symbol of dire distress to ‘life or property’) and police quickly order the flags be turned right side up or removed. Although the demonstration takes place on city-owned sidewalks, federal property is involved after the flags are tied to the ceremonial gates at the location. Rosebrock and fellow veterans take the flags down and peacefully leave the demonstration.
Artist Lauren Bon secures use of the quad in front of Buildings 205, 208, and 209 at the VA campus for Strawberry Flag. A revisionist vision of the American flag as a self-sustaining system, Strawberry Flag is an artwork in the form of a veterans program. It nurtures strawberry plants with an experimental aquaponic system that uses reclaimed water and fish. Rescued from industrial farms that would otherwise discard them after their first fruiting, the strawberry plants are tended by a team of veterans and artists.
December 14: The Department of Veterans Affairs drop charges against Robert Rosebrock for displaying an upside down flag as a sign of protest on VA property. An arrest warrant for Rosebrock is issued, he is cited for violating VA regulations, and is prohibited from leaving the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court’s central district. The 67-year-old veteran decides to hang the flag upside down as a signal of distress after a film studio hosts an AIDS fundraising carnival in June. Rosebrock states “our property is being threatened—it is in danger;” the 388 acre land is used by non veteran groups including a private school, bus company and car rental agency.
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