More people are disowning the American flag as the far right embraces it

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 11:50am
Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 1:42pm

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Sky Schaudt/KJZZ

The American flag might conjure up feelings of patriotism for you; you might think of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Fourth of July or those who have served our country.

Or you might think of politics and political division.

You might think of far-right extremist groups who have, in recent years, adopted aspects of the stars and stripes. The “Blue Lives Matter” flag and the Qanon flag both incorporate aspects of the U.S. flag.

Leslie Hahner says the flag has always varied in its popularity as public sentiment and patriotism waxes and wanes. But there’s something different about the current divide over the flag that we haven’t seen before: The left is relinquishing the flag as the right has adopted it.

Hahner is a professor in communication at Baylor University whose work focuses on the role of images in public culture. 

The Show spoke with her more about the history and meaning of the American flag, beginning with World War I, when the flag was synonymous with American identity for a few reasons.

leslie hahner
Robert Rogers
Leslie Hahner

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