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Rep. Brian Mast: Flag Day 2021 -- what every American should know about the sacrifice woven into our flag

Our flag flew into so many battles against tyranny and was raised in the name of liberty and peace

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Last week, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay proclaimed that the sight of "dozens of American flags" on a pickup truck was "disturbing" because she thought the message those flying the flags were trying to send was that she was not welcome in our country.  

In the next breadth, Gay suggested that the solution to this perceived slight was to "marginalize" the tens of millions of patriotic, freedom-loving Trump supporters. In other words, she wants to actually do what she accused those flying the flag of trying to say. 

This is fundamentally the hypocrisy of the current liberal movement. Inclusiveness to them means only including those who agree with their world view and who are willing to succumb to their attempts to control as many aspects of our lives as possible. Anybody who dares disagree is subject to be canceled, as we’ve seen play out publicly at Gay’s New York Times.   

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To be clear, I couldn’t disagree more with Gay’s statement, but I fully support her right to say it.  

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The beauty of being citizens of this great nation is we have the freedom to disagree, to argue about that disagreement and ultimately, to nonetheless go about our lives as we choose. We have this freedom because there are those who have fought and will continue to fight for our right to do so.  

This is the sacrifice woven into our flag. When I see our beautiful 50 stars and 13 red and white stripes, I think about the many times I’ve seen this flag draped over the casket of my fallen brothers and sisters. They – men and women of all races and religions – died defending Gay’s right to disparage our nation’s flag.   

To me, the stitches that hold our flag together represent the brave men and women who protect us and our families. Like the stitches on a flag, the men and women who came home in those caskets adorned with the stars and stripes are the ones that hold this whole experiment in Democracy together. Because of them, Gay and all Americans wake up every day safe, protected and free.  

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This is the flag that flew into so many battles against tyranny and was raised in the name of liberty and peace.   

This is the flag that united our colonies around the idea that we share the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

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This is the flag that empowers Gay to print her opinions, however misguided, on the pages of the New York Times and share her thoughts on MSNBC.   

So, this Flag Day, let’s remember that despite Gay’s attempts to make it so, our flag is not a Republican flag or a Democrat flag, a Trump flag or a Biden flag, but the one and only American Flag.   

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