To say that Democrats have mixed feelings about the American flag is an understatement. The more moderate ones don’t actually burn the flag, but you can tell that they don’t much like it, either. That doesn’t prevent them, of course, from copious flag displays on ceremonial occasions, but I don’t think anyone believes their hearts are really in it.
Occasionally the mask slips, as when far-left New York Times editorial board member and MSNBC contributor Mara Gay expressed her horror at seeing American flags on Long Island. Long Island, mind you! A place she would normally expect to be civilized. Legal Insurrection has a good roundup of the story and its sequel, with video of Gay’s incriminating MSNBC interview:
MSNBC contributor Mara Gay said Tuesday that she was “disturbed” to see “dozens of American flags” flown by Donald Trump supporters during a weekend trip to Long Island, New York.
“I think that as long as they see Americanness as the same as one with Whiteness, this is going to continue,” Gay said, turning to race and adding that “Americanness” and “Whiteness” needed to be separated.
“I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend, and I was really disturbed. I saw, you know, dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with explicatives [sic] against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing … Essentially the message was clear. This is my country. This is not your country. I own this,” Gay said.
It was a classic moment of self-revelation. Poor Ms. Gay has no idea what drivers of pickups who fly American flags think, but the world now knows what Ms. Gay thinks. Displaying the flag means “whiteness,” and that “This is not your country.” I.e., not Ms. Gay’s country, despite her exalted status at a young age. Also, “I own this.”
Actually, I think Ms. Gay and her ilk believe that they “own this,” and she is “disturbed” to see American flags–let alone Trump signs!–because it means that the resistance to her left-wing agenda somehow manages to persist, against all the odds. It reminds me of several news stories I have seen in recent days where liberals have warned that President Trump is “still dangerous.”
When Ms. Gay’s expression of dismay at seeing American flags–on Long Island!–encountered pretty much universal ridicule, the New York Times, which can be relied on for tone deafness, sprang to her defense with this tweet:
New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay's comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) June 8, 2021
But Gay made no such argument. She took it for granted that her MSNBC viewers would share her horror at seeing “dozens of American flags,” and join her in attaching a perverse racial significance to such displays. No explanation was necessary.
If the Stars and Stripes have become a political symbol–if you can pretty much take it for granted that if you see a flag flying in front of a house, that house is owned by Republicans–it is not because Donald Trump and his supporters “politicized the American flag.” It is because liberals like those at the New York Times consistently show contempt for the flag, and approve of those who display contempt for the flag, like kneeling athletes, because they despise America.