AUGUSTA – An upside- down American flag is a distress symbol.

Jim Parker of Farmington is calling for it to have another meaning: He urged those who oppose the Bush administration to hang the upended flag outside their house as a call to action.

Parker stood outside the State House Tuesday with about 100 others calling for President Bush’s impeachment. He held a sign alleging greed and corruption in the administration.

Sen. Ethan Strimling, D-Portland, who has begun to eye U.S. Rep. Tom Allen’s seat, announced during the rally that he has submitted a resolution which, if passed, would send a message to Washington that Maine is going on the record as supporting impeachment of the administration.

The resolution, which has not been printed yet, would need a majority vote for approval.

Strimling spoke holding a booklet of more than 11,000 signatures of Mainers who want Bush impeached. He noted that Maine was the first state to pass a similar resolution in 2004 opposing the war in Iraq.

He said he doesn’t know if Bush should be impeached or not, but it is a worthy debate because it concerns a threat to the Constitution.

“We all stand to suffer,” he said.

Strimling said he got involved in the conversations about impeachment after Gary Higginbottom, a constituent and vocal member of, approached him.

“I encourage you to keep pushing to see what you can get done,” Strimling told the crowd.

The protesters support impeachment on four counts: the Iraq war is illegal, warrantless wiretapping, prisoner abuse and “repeal of due process,” said Lynne Williams of Maine Lawyers for Democracy.

“It doesn’t have to be a crime to warrant impeachment,” Williams said.

Paul Corrao of Lewiston was one of many supporting the concept.

“It’s defense of democracy,” he said. “There’s been a restriction of constitutional law in the U.S. since World War II, (the administration) has found ways to circumvent the constitutional mandates.”

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