I’m still trying to figure out how the Gadsden Flag is supposed to be a symbol of racism. My best guess is that some “intellectual” is guilty of a simple logical fallacy. Some Libertarians fly the Gadsden Flag. And some Libertarians are racists. Ergo, Libertarians are Racists.
We’re going to get to the Navy’s opinion. Stick with me for a minute while I rant.
I can’t make sweeping generalizations about racists, or who is or isn’t a racist. I will say that a historic flag isn’t capable of being a racist. If I wanted to get really politically correct, I would say that the person flying the flag–whatever flag we’re talkingabout–might be racist, and that that person’s beliefs could be offensive.
Yet we’re talking about the Gadsden Flag. This has, since its inception, stood as a sign of freedom from tyranny. The original tyrannical powers in question happened to be British. The pasty white people who were declaring their independence from the other pasty white people were, by and large, British.
Except they weren’t. They were uniquely American, and they had these cool new flags to prove it.
So how does this yellow flag get to be a symbol of hatred? Gadsden, who designed the flag, owned slaves. Therefore the flag is racist. But Jefferson owned slaves! So we should give up all Jeffersonian democracy?
No one has yet shown me that the cloth alone has the power to offend. And I’ve read more than my fair share of the arguments against it. So no matter what Obama’s EEOC rules, I’ll still fly the flag.
And so will the U.S. Navy. That’s the kick-ass good news, here. They’re not giving it up, no matter what the ludicrous politicians decide.
Here’ the official ruling, as detailed by their most recent Uniform Policy Update
4. NWU Type II/III. Effective immediately, Navy certified subdued matching NWU Type II/III pattern Dont Tread On Me (DTOM) and Reverse U.S. Flag (Reverse Flag) patches are authorized for wear on the NWU Type II/III.
a. Occasion for Wear. During garrison and non-tactical exercises or operations the non-tactical DTOM and Reverse Flag patches may be optionally worn at the discretion of the unit commanding officer and at the expense of the Sailor. During tactical deployment exercises and operations a tactical DTOM and Reverse Flag patch may be worn at the discretion of the unit commander and approval from the Task Force or Joint Task Force Commander. Tactical patches will be issued by the command as organizational clothing.
b. Manner of Wear. The non-tactical and tactical DTOM patch shall be worn on the left shoulder pocket flap of the NWU Type II/III centered on the Velcro pile pad. The non-tactical and tactical Reverse Flag patch shall be worn on the right shoulder pocket flap centered on the Velcro pile pad.
Congratulations to the Navy. Well done.