In a Facebook post published on the Fourth of July, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Utah chapter declared the American flag a hate symbol.
“When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around. When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist. When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different America than we do. When we see this flag, we question your intelligence. We know to avoid you. It is a symbol of hatred,” the statement read.
Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, said the intention of the inflammatory post was to generate a reaction and show how the flag is being co-opted by extremist groups, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
“The point of the post was to make everyone uncomfortable,” Scott said. “The American flag is taught to us from birth to represent freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Scott noted that her sentiments were triggered by the sight of photos depicting members of far-right organization Patriot Front marching through Philadelphia carrying the American flag on the eve of the Fourth of July.
“They’re flying American flags. The Ku Klux Klan is flying American flags. The Proud Boys are flying American flags. They climbed the Capitol for their failed insurrection and were beating police officers with American flags. I have not heard any outrage from Republicans or the right about the use of the American flag as a hate symbol,” Scott said.
“We are seeing that symbol used in every racist hate group’s messaging across this nation. The problem that I have is no one is addressing the people who are using it for hate. I am telling you when I see an American flag, I begin to feel fear for the simple fact that every time I am faced with hatred, it is at the hands of someone carrying an American flag,” she continued.
The BLM post echoes the comments made by New York Times Editorial Board member Mara Gray during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, when she said was “disturbed” to see American flags displayed on the back of Trump supporters’ pick-up trucks during a weekend trip to Long Island.