On Sunday, protesters took to the streets in 32 cities across Cuba, calling for an end to the Communist regime’s oppression. These protesters carried a symbol of freedom in their arms — the same symbol that freedom fighters in Hong Kong used last year when they marched against Chinese Communist oppression. Yet many on the Left have demonized this same symbol, denouncing it as an icon of white supremacy and “institutional racism.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pointed out the tragic irony.
“Across the globe, there is no more ubiquitous symbol for freedom than [the American flag]. [It] inspires billions; drives American Leftists crazy,” the senator remarked.
Across the globe, there is no more ubiquitous symbol for freedom than 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Inspires billions; drives American Leftists crazy. https://t.co/jMhsI729BL
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 12, 2021
Recommended: Biden Breaks His Silence on Cuba Protests
Indeed, Cuban protesters marched with an American flag on Sunday.
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) July 11, 2021
The brave men and women who took to the streets in Hong Kong in 2019 also proudly flew American flags.
Protesters in socialist Venezuela also carried American flags to protest their government’s oppression.
Yet activists living in the Land of the Free have increasingly demonized the very flag that stands for liberty against government oppression worldwide. Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick condemned the Betsy Ross American flag as racist, leading Nike to remove the flag from its footwear. While even Barack Obama flew Betsy Ross American flags at his second inauguration, Snopes proclaimed that “for some people the symbol has taken on new meanings in the era of… Donald Trump, during which far-right extremism has grown.”
Last year, activists in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone of Seattle attacked people who carried the American flag as “white supremacists.” When one of the people carrying the flag agreed with the statement that “black lives matter,” an activist shouted, “Then don’t fly the flag!”
On the eve of the Fourth of July last year, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va.) ordered the removal of a massive American flag from the side of a new office building in Richmond. “Over the past month we’ve seen buildings and structures around Capitol Square vandalized and flags, dumpsters, a bus and other items set ablaze during demonstrations around the city,” Dena Potter, spokeswoman for the Department of General Services, said at the time. “When we saw the flag, we were concerned that it could become a target so we told the contractor to remove it.”
Last month, New York Times editorial board member and MSNBC contributor Mara Gay said she was “disturbed” after seeing “dozens of American flags” flown by Trump supporters. She claimed that Trump supporters “see Americanness as the same as one with whiteness.”
The Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter condemned the American flag as racist.
“When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around,” the group declared on Facebook post. “When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different America than we do.”
The Utah chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) rightly denounced the statement.
“The NAACP does not agree with that statement and rejects the idea that flying the American flag is a racist message,” Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Utah State Conference, said in the statement. “The flag stands for all the people who have lived and served to bring about the best of the American experience, that all people are created equal. Real American patriots have stood for equality and justice for all.”
Many on the Left still celebrate the American flag, as well they should. Yet the Left’s repeated claims that America is institutionally racist — informed by Marxist critical race theory (CRT) — have inspired a growing chorus of voices to condemn what freedom fighters in Cuba, Venezuela, and Hong Kong look to as a symbol of freedom.
While the United States has not always lived up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, the Stars & Stripes represents the idea that all men and women are created equal and that government exists to protect their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those ideals inspire freedom across the world, and Americans should be the first to celebrate them. We should also strive to make sure that the United States remains a beacon of freedom for the world.