Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a former Marine who is also running for president within that party’s primaries, knows a thing or two about proper care and respect for the American flag.
So when the Republican National Committee sent him a package with a flag, along with a copy of the flag code and a letter full of criticisms toward the Democratic Party’s lack of response to instances of the flag being protested against in recent weeks, Moulton knew something was wrong.
The letter, signed by GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, decried incidents where the flag was taken down in Aurora, Colorado, as well as a decision by Nike to pull a set of sneakers from shelves that featured the Betsy Ross flag, which some have derided as offensive.
Per previous reporting from HillReporter.com, the Betsy Ross flag has indeed been co-opted by some white supremacist organizations. Those groups view America’s first flag as emblematic of their cause, believing it represents a time in the United States that was preferable, in their eyes, because only white males could make decisions in society.
“The American flag is a powerful symbol of freedom and independence that many have died to protect. It deserves to be treated as such,” McDaniel wrote in her letter to Moulton.
“Respecting the American flag is not a controversial issue,” she added. “We look forward to seeing the Democrat Party [sic] proudly support the American flag.”
Hey, @GOP thank you for mailing me the flag and a copy of the flag code.
Next time, show some respect and fold it properly. pic.twitter.com/7r2vp3fZ84
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) July 25, 2019
The package, which included the flag code, which details rules on how to treat the American flag, also had a flag within it — folded in the wrong manner.
“Hey, @GOP thank you for mailing me the flag and a copy of the flag code,” Moulton tweeted on Thursday. “Next time, show some respect and fold it properly.”
The flag code states that the flag should be folded in a specific way, ultimately ending up in a triangle shape. The flag sent to Moulton was folded into a square.
The indignations sent to Moulton by the RNC may be misplaced — Moulton has in the past criticized protests against the flag.
In 2017, for example, he defended protests during the National Anthem as “a right defended by the Constitution.” But he added that he thought such protests deviated from the actual cause they were trying to promote.
“I’m not sure it’s the most respectful or best way to bring this issue to light,” Moulton said, per reporting from Boston.com. “Because rather than talk about police brutality, all we’re talking about is offending the flag.”