I had a 1970s flashback, and not in a good way, when I saw the current president mauling the Stars and Stripes at this year’s gathering of deplorables known as CPAC.
While I can’t find proof of it online, I seem to remember a wall poster depicting a wide-eyed moppet hugging an American flag under the words “Red White and Blue Are Beautiful.” I can only assume 45 saw the same poster and was as traumatized as I was. How else to explain his apparent compulsion to grab Old Glory by the Stripes and use the flag as a Handi Wipe?
We first saw this weird behavior when he was running for president in 2016 and hugged flags at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire and a campaign rally in Tampa. He did it again two years later, after a speech before the National Federation of Independent Business, during which he ranted about immigration.
Each time, the gesture has been accompanied by a facial expression that is either:
(a) his “O” face;
(b) “Grandpa just crapped in his Depends,” or
(c) that look a con man gets when he walks into a room full of easy marks.
The same man who curses African-American athletes for not standing during the National Anthem has no compunction about pawing Old Glory as if it were one of his mistresses. He couldn’t be bothered to fight under that flag, but has no compunction about wrapping himself in it.
The United States Code has detailed instructions on how to carry the flag, how to fly it, how to drape it over a coffin and how to dispose of it properly. It doesn’t mention flag molestation, probably because, as with so much of Trump’s behavior, it never occurred to anyone that someone would do such a thing.
The Code does say, however, “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”
Old Glory can’t speak for herself, so it’s up to us to nip this in the bud before he rapes the flag on the National Mall on the Fourth of July.
I speak for her and for us all when I say:
Keep your foul, hamburger-clutching, lady-part-grabbing, greedy, adulterous, incestuous hands to yourself. We know where they’ve been.