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Our weaponized American flag

Kevin McKeon | New York, United States

An American flag is paraded around the arena before every rodeo, a quintessentially American event. Here , a rodeo in New Caney, Texas.

While out on the streets covering a hundred-plus protests, counter protests, marches and election celebrations, it was hard not to notice the constant weaponing of our American flag. I’ve seen it claimed by MAGA loyalists as their own, then “taken back” by gleeful Biden voters on November 2. It’s been paraded out as either a symbol of freedom or one of oppression, depending upon whose rally you were attending. I’ve seen it co-opted, personalized, defaced, and waved high by every ideological group looking to align their cause with something fundamentally American, righteous and god-given. But when a flag is waved in the service of every ideology, is its power diminished and its meaning, ultimately, lost?


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