Recently I’ve become obsessed with the old show, “The West Wing.” It tells the story of an idealist, democratic White House administration and one day they take a trip to LA where they hear a convention’s proposal to make flag burning illegal under an amendment to the constitution.
Of course, in real life this idea was struck down pretty quickly by the Supreme Court through the First Amendment, freedom of expression.
But in the show, the convention described the American Flag as “the most recognized symbol in the world, wherever it stands, it represents freedom…the most feared power to tyranny” and when I heard this, I couldn’t help but laugh.
When I see the American flag today, I don’t think of freedom or the union as I did when “The West Wing” first aired in the late ’90s and early 2000s. I think “Beware: A Trump Supporter lives here.”
When Donald Trump fans march down the street crying anti-Black slurs, that the democrats are a satanic cult, and that the election was fraudulent, their MAGA hats are almost always accompanied by an American Flag with the 13 stripes and 50 stars.
They have so aggressively used nationalism to defend their conservative and racist values.
To protest fair democracy, gay rights, Black Americans having a fair shot in the legal system, welfare, abortion rights, or climate change action they pump the flag into the air and scream “Make America Great Again!”
If you ain’t one of Trump’s Americans, well – you ain’t American.
Throughout Trump’s administration the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” has allowed Trump to undo progress former President Barack Obama made during his two terms, while also giving millions the opportunity to redefine what made the flag worth fighting for.
For some, it was when white people had power over African Americans.
Although only a small portion of Trump supporters at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where a neo-Nazi rammed their car into a counter-protester, rally participants waving American flags next to the swastika and the Confederate flag.
It leaves me shell shocked as to how a flag that for many symbolizes freedom could so easily be paired with hate and the rebirth of oppression.
Our country was founded on the idea that all men were created equal, and ever since, our people have been in debate on how to make that idea come alive. The Founding Fathers built our country with the intention of it to grow over time, which is phrased in the third article of the Constitution.
To go back in time and make America great “again” by suppressing the equality of some would be to go against significant American values.
Isn’t that what Trump supporters want? To uphold American values?
More core ideas ingrained in the roots of our nation is democracy, independence and anti-tyranny and free speech. So it is ironic how neo-Nazis are seen as uber-nationalist Americans.
Trump has also on several occasions refused to cooperate with power, attempted to block free speech, and contested a legitimate election – all of which are key signs of fascism.
Fascism that American Trump voters are ready to wave the flag behind at all costs.
There is nothing American about fascism.
There is nothing American about white supremacy.
There is nothing American about Donald Trump.
True great Americanism is about holding onto the key necessities that have made our democracy thrive for so long, while also understanding that it is a work in progress. It is about individualism, freedom, and equality. This is what our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are about, and it is what our Founding Fathers fought for in the 1776 Revolution.
This is what our flag is supposed to symbolize.
This is what soldiers have died in honor of protecting across the globe.
I am angered by how Donald Trump has demonized its reputation – by abusing his power against the United States and his supporters have used the flag into a sign of praise and obedience to his new great America.
Do countries around the world see it the same way that I do?
The Trumpian Flag.
What was once a symbol of hope, democracy, and justice is now a symbol of white supremacy, fascism, and fear.
Perhaps it is time to burn the Trumpian flag and create a new one.