A Purple Heart Republican congressman from Florida took to Twitter Thursday to express his anger at how an American flag was treated by Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee who stuck the flag in a garbage can while moving to a new office.
Brian Mast, who lost both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, showed an image of the flag in a plastic garbage can and shared his thoughts.
“So this is a WTF moment here in the House of Representatives,” Mast said in a video accompanying his tweet.
“People moving offices and this is apparently where Representative Sheila Jackson Lee keeps her American flag, her POW flag — in the garbage can, in the trash. That’s her idea of appropriate for moving the American flag,” he said.
“WTF?” he said. “What the hell is wrong with these people?”
Today’s rescue mission: saving Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s American flag from the garbage can. @JacksonLeeTX18, anytime you’d like a lesson on flag etiquette, let me know. It’s one of the first things we’re taught in basic training. pic.twitter.com/dZljLi41GA
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) December 8, 2022
“Today’s rescue mission: saving Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s American flag from the garbage can. @JacksonLeeTX18, anytime you’d like a lesson on flag etiquette, let me know. It’s one of the first things we’re taught in basic training,” Mast posted in the text of his tweet.
During his more than 12 years in the Army, Mast was awarded The Bronze Star Medal, The Army Commendation Medal for Valor, The Purple Heart Medal and The Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
“While deployed in Afghanistan, he worked as a bomb disposal expert under the elite Joint Special Operations Command. The last improvised explosive device that he found resulted in catastrophic injuries, which included the loss of both of his legs,” the biography noted.
In 2021, Mast sounded off about liberals who bash and trash the flag in an op-ed on Fox News, sharing his outrage that The New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay objected to the sight of American flags on pickup trucks.
“To be clear, I couldn’t disagree more with Gay’s statement, but I fully support her right to say it. 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,” he wrote.
“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,” he wrote.
Mast said that to him, the flag is a priceless, beautiful symbol of freedom, sacrifice and service.
“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,” Mast wrote.
Mast said the flag transcends all other loyalties.
“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,” he wrote.
“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,” later adding that “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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