By SUZANNE DOWNING
The New York Times suggested on Saturday that if you see a flag flying from the back of a pickup truck, you might be right to think that the driver is a Republican, and that person might be a threat.
“Today, flying the American flag from the back of a pickup truck or over a lawn is increasingly seen as a clue, albeit an imperfect one, to a person’s political affiliation in a deeply divided nation,” the Times tweeted, and linked to a column, “A Fourth of July Symbol of Unity That May No Longer Unite.”
“What was once a unifying symbol — there is a star on it for each state, after all — is now alienating to some, its stripes now fault lines between people who kneel while ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ plays and those for whom not pledging allegiance is an affront,” the writer said.
There’s some truth to that. In my observations over the past year, I’ve noticed that homes with “Black Lives Matter” signs or “In this home we believe” signs on them never have an American flag flying anywhere. It’s as if they are allergic to the Red, White, and Blue.
Some political party, and some political movement is making the American Flag into a symbol of hate, and it’s not the Republican Party. It’s not patriots who are weaponizing the flag, and it’s not veterans or military personnel. It’s not the families across the heartland.
Those who hate America because it is not perfect have taught generations to also condemn the country’s foundations; the lesson has been embedded well in a growing segment of the population, and especially the media.
The New York Times may be leading the charge against the American Flag, suggesting it is no longer an acceptable symbol of our country, but it’s been an infection festering for years, ever since the election of Donald Trump as president.
The cancel culture movement against the flag started softly on the fringes, such as when Mother Jones wrote in 2019 that the flag “represents a country deeply divided along partisan lines, led by a man who disguises bigoted populism as patriotism. It’s also a symbol for a resurgent movement of white nationalists who cloak their hate in the stars and stripes, even as they defend Confederate monuments.”
In Time magazine in 2020, a columnist wrote: “The election of Donald Trump calcified my ambivalence into an ambiguous wariness stemming from an unambiguous truth. The sort of (white) people who clamber to distinguish themselves as the True Americans have weaponized the flag, manipulating it to antagonize those they believe to be less American. Trump didn’t create this dynamic, sure. Prominent American flags are hard to ignore when scanning footage of lynchings and Klan rallies from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. But the bedrock of Trump’s political career is the ceaseless exacerbation of this feeling.”
Now, the New York Times mainstreams the concept that the flag represents what they call “white nationalism.”
Of course, the flag is not all they are trying to cancel. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden’s Administration prohibited a fireworks display on the Fourth of July at Mount Rushmore, one of our nation’s great monuments to freedom and democracy.
The fireworks display at Mount Rushmore on Independence Day is a tradition almost all Americans love. Sometimes it has been canceled due to wildfire danger, but the state of South Dakota cherishes the celebration of the Declaration of Independence.
This year, the Biden Administration said no for purely political reasons. National Park Service Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote in March that his agency is “unable to grant a request to have fireworks at the Memorial. Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event. In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial.”
Ah, there you have it. Radicalized tribal members objected, and the Biden Administration will take a knee. How much longer will it be until the Democrats come after the Washington Monument because the father of our country was not perfect.
“These factors, compiled with the COVID-19 pandemic, do not allow a safe and responsible fireworks display to be held at this site,” the NPS wrote, blaming Covid.
If not at Mount Rushmore, then where on public land would fireworks be appropriate?
They — the mainstream media and the Democrats — are coming for Mount Rushmore and they are weaponizing our American Flag.
If there was ever a time to fly the Stars and Stripes, it is now, as we patiently wait for the infection of hatred that festers in our country to subside. Let your American Flag be the vaccine against this virus of hate that threatens our republic.
Suzanne Downing publishes and writes for Must Read Alaska and Must Read America.