Not only is it President Donald Trump’s birthday—er, John McCain Day—but the 14th of June also marks Flag Day which celebrates the adoption of the stars and stripes as the official flag of the United States.
Naturally, the White House found a way to make it all about the president…and make everyone uncomfortable in the process.
Trump has routinely criticized NFL players who don’t stand or salute the flag for the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans, but Trump—a five-time draft dodger—considers embracing the flag to be the ultimate sign of respect.
Others don’t see the gesture as respectful at all.
That photo intensifies the disgust most veterans and active duty military feel when they see you treating our flag with such disrespect. The flag is not to be fondled like some porn star. Despicable.
— American Veteran (@amvetsupport) June 14, 2019
Pretty sure that respect for the flag doesn't entail dry-humping it.
— Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyer) June 14, 2019
I know it's asking a LOT from you folks in the @WhiteHouse, but please take down this picture. Dry humping the American flag is neither patriotic nor respectful to the flag.
— Private Joker, USMC (@Infantry0300) June 14, 2019
Seriously this picture is so disrespectful and embarrassing, if they had any common sense they would hide it and hope it never shows itself again. Instead they tweet it out. Headline should be sexual predator assaults US flag.
— justagirl (@HeyMamaJude1) June 14, 2019
People were downright exasperated at the White House’s—and Trump’s—tactlessness.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 14, 2019
::checks:: "Yup, that's the official WH twitter."
Of all photos. This. 😐
— Rich McCoy (@_RichMcCoy) June 14, 2019
I had to look to see if this was a satire account.
— Mark L. Tomlin (@MarkLTomlin) June 14, 2019
And for some, the picture brought to mind a certain tape from Trump’s past…
What's he grabbing this by
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) June 14, 2019
He didn't even ask. Grabs them by the stripes.
— Gibodean (@gibodean) June 14, 2019
And when you’re a star, the Flag let’s you do it.
— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) June 14, 2019
The President’s embrace of the flag has raised eyebrows before, and even inspired a John Oliver segment, but the White House bragging about what many perceive to be a faux pas is downright—well, actually, it’s pretty on-brand.