Evan Naismith: Democrats must reclaim the Stars and Stripes

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Published: 06-27-2024 7:14 PM

Two decades ago, Republicans harnessed American symbols to secure George W. Bush a second term, persuading voters that supporting him equated to backing the nation and its troops. Through ubiquitous stars and stripes branding, they cemented their identity as the quintessential “American” party, relegating Democrats to a fallback option.

Today, the MAGA faction of the GOP eschews traditional symbols in favor of provocative flag alterations. The thin blue line flag supports law enforcement. The backward flag signifies readiness for battle. Tattered and upside-down flags symbolize distress. The “Appeal to Heaven” flag, a pro-Trump prayer for divine electoral intervention. While technically compliant with the U.S. Flag Code, these flags, like all knock-offs, cheapen the original’s sanctity. They are unpatriotic.

At a recent visit to a Hadley business, I spotted an “Appeal to Heaven” flag flying. What does this imply about the owner’s beliefs? Flying this flag above the national emblem suggests ignorance or disregard for the Flag Code, skepticism towards democracy, and the belief that Trump is divinely favored. If we accept divine election influence, it follows that God chose Biden in 2020. The flag is embarrassingly self-contradictory and antidemocratic. The right wing’s increasing use of imitation flags reflects their departure from genuine American values. Democrats must reclaim the nation’s symbol — the flag. As Independence Day nears, let’s proudly display the stars and stripes, asserting our equal, if not superior, claim to its symbolism. Perhaps this will bolster our candidate’s reelection chances.

Evan Naismith

Amherst

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

High-speed police chase in Hadley ends in crash, arrest on Hampton Inn lawn
Working group to examine future of money-losing Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst
Anthony Fyden: Say no to green power grab, don’t let go of local control
Grant Ingle: UMass chancellor’s task force plan ‘deficient’
Guest columnist Dr. David Gottsegen: Age issue not so key as question of marbles
Guest columnist Ali Wicks-Lim: Racism is in our way