Home » No, the flag does not belong to Trump and the GOP—and it never will

No, the flag does not belong to Trump and the GOP—and it never will

It’s Flag Day. The Indy Star has a handy article about the origins of the holiday and the proper way to treat an American flag. That includes simple rules like flying it right side up, never putting any other image or text on the flag, and not wearing the flag like clothing

It doesn’t cover molesting the flag like it’s a blow-up doll, or using the flag as a weapon to beat police officers and smash windows. But maybe the folks who made the rules thought those things went without saying.

As Republicans (including a Supreme Court justice and his ornery wife) are celebrating this day by flying the American flag upside down, the The New York Times is ready to hand the flag over to Donald Trump to fondle as much as he wants. In a nauseating article that can’t stop gushing about how Trump is the “51st star,” the paper is just so overwhelmed by Trump hugging and kissing the flag and the patriotism of his big red tie that they declare the flag the property of just one party.

President Joe Biden doesn’t agree. In a new ad, the Biden-Harris campaign unabashedly celebrates the history and meaning of the American flag— a flag that belongs to everyone.

“The stars and stripes were created to unite us,” the narrator says in the ad. “It is a powerful symbol that Americans stand together.”

After a series of voices recite the Pledge of Allegiance, we hear Biden’s voice.

“I don’t pledge allegiance to red states of America or blue states of America,” he says. “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America.”

Biden and his fellow Democrats don’t have to reclaim the flag, because we’re not the ones acting like we’re ashamed of it. We’re not flying it upside down while claiming that this is a “third-world country” or “banana republic.” We’re not waving around the symbol of a failed rebellion that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of loyal Americans. We’re not smearing orange makeup on the flag while moaning about a “nation in decline.” We’re not the ones calling America a “cesspool.”

Hugging the flag while slamming the nation is not patriotism. 

To find someone claiming that “the Democrats basically cede the flag to the right,” The New York Times had to seek out a history professor talking about protests from 60 years ago. They don’t seem to have noticed that in the past decade, Republicans have been demeaning not just the flag, but the nation it stands for. 

If there’s a flag flying outside the Times headquarters, someone might want to check to see which side is up.

On Flag Day, Americans are celebrating a country that is stronger, safer , and more prosperous than ever. As Biden’s ad says, the flag belongs to all Americans. It’s meant to unite us, not drive us apart. The flag is not something the Republicans can own, or the Times can give away.

Happy Flag Day.

Hopium Chronicles’ Simon Rosenberg joins Markos to discuss the “red wave-ification” of the economy and how prepared Democrats are for November. There is still work to do but we have a better candidate—and we have the edge.

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June 2024