A group of American military veterans responded Friday to a Betsy Ross flag being removed from a Utah soccer game.
Host Brian Kilmeade brought up the topic during a segment of “Fox & Friends,” saying, “The MLS is the latest politically correct organization who decides that the Betsy Ross flag, our first flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes should be banned from a Utah game because they say it has a political tint to it. What do you think about the first American flag being politically unacceptable?”
Retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink was the first to weigh in. “I think it’s amazing where we live in the country where your biggest concern is being at a beautiful soccer game — and what you have to really be concerned about …”
“They were tossed out,” Kilmeade interrupted.
“This is why people in this country need to read and understand and learn history,” Army Ranger veteran Sean Parnell jumped in. “That flag is the greatest symbol of freedom that the world has ever known. It represents throwing off the chains of oppression. And so, we fought a war to fight against a tyrannical government. And then less than 100 years later, we gave 300,000 lives in the righteous cause that ended slavery in this country in the civil war. No country has done more to fight for the individual as the smallest minority. That flag is representative of that.” (RELATED: Sean Parnell On ‘All Out War’)
“John, it’s used by a white supremacist group,” Kilmeade turned to West Point graduate and Michigan Senate candidate John James.
“Racism is still a problem in this country. Full stop,” James responded. “You are not going to fight racism by kicking folks out for flying a Betsy Ross staff. I guaran-doggone-tee you if someone was burning an American flag they would be allowed to stay. The First Amendment is something that everybody in this room and everybody on this stage are willing to put their lives on the line to protect and preserve. We need to make sure we are both fighting racism and preserving our rights to live our lives as free Americans.”
Kilmeade turned then to double-amputee and retired Marine Johnny Joey Jones, adding, “You were asked about this when Colin Kaepernick took a knee to address some football locker room. Different issue coming up. Different sport same issue.”
“The thing about Colin is, people forget, Colin didn’t kneel first he sat,” Jones said, referring to that first pre-season game when Kaepernick remained on the bench during the national anthem. “He spoke about our flag representing today the oppression of groups of people. He equated our flag today, the freedoms it stands for to the very worst aspects and the worst darkest corner of our country. I never will buy that.”
Jones went on to explain just how much things have improved because of that flag. “Listen, when the Betsy Ross flag was the flag, veterans didn’t have the V.A. If you lost your legs in war you weren’t going to get taken care of. You will go back home and hopefully have family to take care of you. There was no such thing as some sort of check that the government wrote back to you to take care of you. A lot of things have gotten better in this country because there was a Betsy Ross flag,” he concluded.