Lots of people fly American flags on their properties and some fly their state’s flag beneath the American flag. Flags of favorite sport teams, especially colleges, are often flown. Lots of good reasons explain why people do this, love of country, loyalty to their alma mater, etc.
For decades the Confederate flag has been displayed and the reasons behind it are many. Some claim a show of pride in their heritage. Others may display it as a symbol of their own rebelliousness. To many, myself included, it is an outward sign of racist sympathy and dislike of the federal government. The first thing that crosses my mind when I see a Confederate flag is that the person displaying it is a racists, a separatist, both, or something even worse. Obviously I’m not a fan.
In the last couple of months I’ve also noticed a few homes flying flags specific to one political cause, party, or candidate. One home in a nearby town is flying the American and Ohio flags along with the Tea Party flag. I don’t recall ever seeing a flag for the Democratic or Republican parties and after a quick Google don’t think there are such things. The most common Tea Party flag is a variation of the Revolutionary War era Gadsden flag; the yellow flag with a coiled rattlesnake at its center. If you do some research you’ll learn that many think the Gadsden has become yet another symbol of racism due to the far-right nature of the Tea Party.
While driving on a country road today I noticed a home proudly flying a TRUMP flag. This may be the first time I’ve ever seen a private homeowner flying a flag for a political candidate and I’m not sure just what it means. My first inclination is to read it as yet another sign of the growing division in today’s America.
A seventeen year old high school student posted on Facebook some months ago that he firmly believed that anyone who supported Trump was, whether they knew it or not, a racist. I responded that I was in agreement. Given the overtly racist statements Trump has made and the support he has garnered from groups like the KKK it’s the only conclusion I can draw.
So, in today’s America being a racist is no longer something to keep hidden. It appears to be just fine to shout to the world that you don’t care much for those who aren’t lily white, Christian Protestant, English-speaking, conservative minded, and can’t prove that their great-great-granddaddy either owned a slave or shot an Indian.