Peaceful protesters gather outside Mar-a-Lago

PALM BEACH (WSVN) — As Donald J. Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States, Friday, a small group of protesters gathered outside the new “Winter White House” in Palm Beach, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

They stood across the water from the estate and held up signs denouncing Trump, such as “You can’t comb-over hate,” and “#NotMyPresident.” The most prominent image among the protesters, the upside-down American flag, which represents distress, according to one protester.

“In the military, whenever this is upside-down, it means distress,” Arthur Morrison, a veteran, said, “and in my opinion this country is under the most distress that its been in my 72 years of living here.”

“I’m sad,” Leann Carzola-Reilly said, “I’m sad to see him be inaugurated today. “I feel like it’s a dark day in our country,”

Another protester said that the symbol of the upside-down American flag, which they also wore over their hearts, represents the state of America’s democracy.

“We consider ourselves patriots, and this is the ultimate patriotic symbol,” Jody Gorran said. “It’s a symbol of our democracy turned upside-down.”

“He’s not my president,” Gorran added, “Nor will he ever be my president.”

Morrison said that Trump’s presidency does not represent the values he fought for.

“Democracy’s in peril,” he said, “I spent 20 years in the military. I’m a retired military officer. I fought for freedom for everybody, not just white racists. We need to take the country back.”

Others were slightly more optimistic.

“In a way, I’m interested to see what he’s going to do even though I’m a die-hard Democrat,” Marshall Brown said, “so we shall see. I have great hopes in the U.S. I have great hopes in the government.”

Denise Champions, a tourist visiting from France, said people in France are frightened of Trump.

“The thoughts in France are as dark as your hair about his presidency Champions,” she said. “They all frightened, they all frightened.”

Meanwhile, Trump supporters driving by the protesters told them to leave the country if they’re not happy. And a plane flew a message that read, “President Trump Godspeed.”

“I think it’ll all come together and work together realistically, practically, in a business-like but kind manner,” Brown said.

Many of the protesters said they will wear the upside-down flag over their heart for the next four years.

Trump is expected to visit Mar-a-Lago at least once a month, especially during the winter months.

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