Republicans Gun for Biden’s Pride Flags
While the White House races to distance itself from the impromptu strip show on its South Lawn last Saturday, the bare-breasted trans display was only one part of the taxpayer-funded circus that Joe Biden brought to the most sacred residence in America. “Add this to the list of ways Biden has degraded the prestige and decorum of the office of president,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fumed. A list that also includes his decision to make the controversial Progress Flag the balcony focal point during his Pride fest, centered in a place of honor that should be reserved for our nation’s colors.
Most Americans still can’t get over the image of the transgender baby blue and pink draped over one of the most symbolic buildings in America. The president’s brazen endorsement of a movement that’s mutilating children and splitting up families was like a slap in the face to a country already burning with rage over the Democrats’ trans fixation.
“The flag of the United States of America placed in equal stature on the flank of the alphabet cult battle flag,” Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) seethed. “The Biden administration is a disgrace.” Others pointed out the flagrant violation of the U.S. Flag Code, which White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre brushed off. “Did anybody notice that or fail to notice that,” a reporter asked, “or was it an intentional statement?”
Jean-Pierre was defiant, insisting the president was “proud” to display the Progress Flag, even calling it a “historic” moment for a day “centered around love and family.” “… [W]e’re not going to let anyone distract us from that, what was the meaning of the day. … I’m certainly not going to get into protocols from here. … I’ll leave that to others.”
Those “others” may soon be House Republicans, who’ve wasted no time putting the Biden administration on notice for its anti-American displays. On Wednesday, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) used Flag Day “to remind everyone that the Stars and Stripes is the ONLY flag that displays our nation’s shared values.”
His Senate colleague, Roger Marshall (R), introduced a bill called the One Flag for All Act Wednesday to make it illegal to “fly, drape, or display any flag other than the American flag on federal buildings or properties, with limited exceptions.” “We have a duty…” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) agreed, “[to stand] up in defense of this country instead of a radical Leftist ideology that results in a pride flag being hung at the same level as the US flag on the front of the White House.”
Together, Republicans refuse to sit by and let the president insult the brave men and women who’ve fought and died under the colors our leaders should be flying. They’ve been especially irate over Secretary of Veteran Affairs Denis McDonough’s directive to fly the rainbow and Progress Flags above, beside, or even in lieu of the stars and stripes at VA facilities. The GOP’s Mississippi delegation fired off an indignant letter over the rainbow colors at Biloxi National Cemetery, which they say shows “deep disrespect” to our nation’s servicemembers.
“Replacing the United States flag with a flag that promotes a particular sexual or gender identity goes against the very mission of our national cemeteries. … Cemeteries should be places for reflection and respect, not public virtue signaling.
“This political stunt is yet another example of this Administration’s willingness to promote its political agenda rather than focus on its mission as the executive branch. Our veterans expect the Department of Veteran Affairs to provide services, not controversial ideologies.”
The controversy is one of several triggered by McDonough’s decision to allow the Pride flag at every VA facility — a move that’s sparked protests in cities like Fresno. One of the demonstrators, John Cline, a combat medic who served in Vietnam, told reporters, “That flag is now being flown in a spot that we hold very sacred, and no organization should be put above any other organization in that area.” Cline explained that he’d “even spoken with some of our gay veterans, and they also believe that the Walk of Honor is not the place where it should be flown.”
If the grassroots fury doesn’t get McDonough’s attention, maybe Congress will. On Tuesday, House Republicans raised the stakes — passing an amendment to the VA spending bill that would not only forbid the agency from flying the Pride flag, but also rolls back the administration’s outrageous taxpayer-funded abortions and gender transition surgeries for veterans.
“This is something that should be handled by Congress, not by the executive branch,” Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) argued about the president’s woke social policies. As of February, reports show the VA has taken 34 unborn lives — all at Americans’ expense and all in violation of the Hyde Amendment.
As for gender transition treatments, the VA has been plotting for two years to add “surgical procedures” and “hormone therapies” to its list of covered services, insisting it would “save lives.” Republicans voted 34-27 to strike the policy, a move that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) called a waste of time. “This committee … should be focused on issues that face the veterans community every day: ending veteran suicide, decreasing the claims backlogs, ensuring the VA can attract and retain clinicians. But we are instead focusing on non-issues to bow down to the demands of the far-right wing of the Republican Party.”
These “non-issues,” as Wasserman Schultz calls them, are at the heart of a raging national debate that Democrats are soundly losing. At a time when backlash to Pride is at a fevered pitch, most Americans would agree it’s not too much to ask that our veterans aren’t exploited in Biden’s political games. Under this latest House amendment, the VA would be barred from flying any flag “other than the flag of the United States, the flag of a state, territory, or District of Columbia, the flag of an Indian tribal government, the flag of the department, the flag of an armed force, or the POW/MIA flag.”
It would guarantee that the “work and the message of the VA is not divisive,” Rep. Michael Guest (R-Miss.) insisted, “is not controversial, and is not promoting a particular gender ideology, but rather is respect[ful] of our veterans.”
As Family Research Council’s executive vice president, Lt. General (Ret.) William Boykin said, “So many Americans have given so much — including their lives — to give all Americans the right to be proud of who we are as a nation and not just a special sub-group. The actions by the Veterans Administration to put the LGBT flag on par with the American flag is an ill-conceived and disgusting action which cannot be justified. It leaves me wondering: Is anyone in charge of the VA?”
As Boykin emphasized to The Washington Stand, “It is important for us as a nation to continually remind ourselves of the sacrifices that have been made by these men and women in uniform in helping to preserve our liberties.”
In the meantime, he insisted, “Someone needs to be held accountable for this disgusting display of anti-American and anti-veteran behavior.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.