Fox Business host Charles Payne gave an impassioned statement Friday about the reasons he loved the American flag.
Payne’s statement was a response to New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay, who said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that she was “disturbed” by large displays of flags supporting former President Donald Trump — and even American flags — because she felt as though Trump’s supporters could not distinguish between “Americanness” and “whiteness.”
“I love the American flag. I feel pride when I think of it rising, the flag on Iwo Jima, I feel safer when I see a flag flying on a street that I’ve never walked on before,” Payne began. “When I see the American flag, any situation for me automatically gets better.”
Payne went on to play a clip of Gay, who said, “I was really disturbed. I saw dozens and dozens of pickup trucks with, you know, explicatives against Joe Biden on the back of them, Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags which, is also just disturbing because, essentially, the message was clear. It was this is my country, this is not your country. I own this.”
Payne went on to say that he loved the American flag because, in addition to representing the nation’s past, it also stood for the future. (RELATED: ‘I Feel Threatened’: Sunny Hostin Says She’s ‘Scared’ By Trump Flags — And American Flags ‘When It’s Not July 4’)
“And for all of the warts and all of the stains in the history of our country, we’ve arrived in the place where a black woman is paid a lot of money to voice exactly how she feels on national TV. Similarly, those who took offense at what she had to say were able to voice their opinions as well,” Payne continued.
He said that the flag, to him, represented hope – and with hope came opportunity. He argued that the nation’s past should be part of the discussion, and that Americans should not get too bogged down in efforts to “rewrite and relitigate” the past, saying that doing so could ultimately threaten the future.
“Yes, I love the American flag because under its banner, Mara Gay was able to speak her mind, and that is a blessing we should never take lightly,” Payne concluded. “I love the American flag because this is the greatest nation that was built by underdogs, people dismissed out of hand, people not given the chance. I love the American flag because people born in bondage, people born in poverty, people who came to this country with nothing were able to make an impact, and now their heirs stand on their shoulders.”