FOLLANSBEE - Karen Mezan figures people who know her know she'd never slam her country, its flag or veterans.
So she wasn't quite prepared for the furor that erupted Wednesday when a passerby spotted the American flag flying upside down at half staff over the Follansbee McDonald's and posted a picture on the Facebook feed of a local electronic media outlet, triggering a frenzied response from Americans across the country.
Mezan, owner and operator of the Follansbee McDonald's, said the problem started when a pulley on the flagpole broke.
"We had a problem getting it down, it kept getting twisted," she said, adding that in the process of fixing it, the flag was inadvertently turned upside down. The upside-down flag went unnoticed by the restaurant's workers.
"We had the fire department here last night, trying to repair it," she said. "We did get the pulley repaired, but in the process they broke the cord on it. They'll be coming back this morning (Thursday) to fix it.
"It was not meant to offend anybody, it was definitely not anything like that," she added. "It was just an unfortunate mistake. If the guy had come in and told us about it, we would have taken care of it then. As soon as we knew, we went out and cut the rope and took it down."
Mezan concedes the timing couldn't have been worse, coming as it was on the heels of a hotly contested presidential election.
"Any other day it might not have been noticed," she said. "It's just unfortunate that it happened at the wrong time, the wrong day, the wrong moment, and it was just blown way out of proportion.
"We're an American corporation. We love America, we love our flag, we love our veterans, and the people here love us, they support us. People have been coming in all morning saying they support us, they know we're good people and we support our community and our country. They know we support all the clubs, the churches, the schools, veterans."