Commentary

Outrageous: Pride Flag Replaces POW/MIA Flag at Veterans Memorial Plaza

A Maryland county’s actions earlier this month sparked almost immediate outrage after a flag commemorating American prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action was taken down and replaced, at least temporarily, by an LGBTQ flag for Pride month.

Evan Glass, Montgomery County Council’s first openly gay member, celebrated as the rainbow flag was raised for the first time at Veterans Memorial Plaza outside the county’s executive office building in Rockville, Maryland, according to WRC-TV.

The fact that a POW/MIA flag was taken down in the process sparked the outrage.

The county council eventually raised the POW/MIA flag back up after taking a level of heat they obviously didn’t expect, but should have, especially considering that the plaza serves as a memorial for veterans.

Vietnam War veteran John “Bill” Williams explained why flying the POW/MIA flag is so important to him and countless others.

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“When I was in Vietnam, I was there six days before two guys were missing in action, and they still haven’t found their bodies,” Williams said.

“I wasn’t happy about it at all because the park is supposed to be a veterans park,” Williams said. “People died. Now they took it down and put another flag up.”

When asked why the flag was taken down and replaced with the LGBTQ Pride flag, Glass explained that the flag post was only able to accommodate one flag at a time.

“When we learned of that, we are quickly, the county government, is quickly changing it,” Glass said. “So we’re adding more ringlets so that by tomorrow morning both flags will be raised.”

Do you think the county made a huge mistake by taking down the POW/MIA flag?

That explanation satisfied Williams, who said he didn’t mind if the LGBTQ flag was flown, as long as the county council makes sure the POW/MIA flag always stays up.

“If they want to put the other flag underneath, they could put it underneath, but the POW flag should be flying there,” Williams said.

County officials did indeed put the POW/MIA back in its original position and add a new ringlet on a different flagpole for the LGBTQ flag, Bethesda Magazine reported.

Even though the lapse in judgement was seemingly temporary, it’s a shame that the council believed it was even remotely acceptable to take down such a meaningful flag in order to push their LGBTQ agenda for Pride month.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the U.S. government listed 2,646 Americans as unaccounted for after the Vietnam War.

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There were similar numbers of those “missing in action” and “killed in action/body not recovered.”

While the bodies of many of those American heroes have since been recovered and sent home to their families, the agency reports that over 1,500 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam conflict.

That’s not counting previous and subsequent conflicts and wars.

It shouldn’t be difficult to empathize with veterans and Americans who’ve lost loved ones with zero closure.

The thought of taking down a flag which represents such incredible sacrifice is unspeakable, to say the least.

Hopefully, the county council members learned that pushing a sexual orientation agenda isn’t even remotely as important as honoring the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker plunged headfirst into news reporting and political commentary while on the ground during the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. He later wrote extensively on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and election.

When he's not writing, Ryan spends time improving his barbecue skills. He has his own brand of BBQ rub and is a trophy winner in the world of competitive BBQ.
Birthplace
Illinois
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Science & Technology




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