Lauren Boebert got schooled after claiming a U.S. Air Force graphic showed an airman saluting the Pride flag.
Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert drew criticism after joining a wave of right-wing disapproval directed at the U.S. Air Force's commemoration of Pride Month.
Boebert took offense to a tweet from the Air Force that featured a silhouette of a saluting airman alongside rainbow stripes symbolizing LGBTQ+ pride overlaid with the official seal of the United States Air Force. Despite the claims of the conservative outrage machine, no flag appears on the graphic.
You can see the Air Force's tweet below.
\u201cJune is #PrideMonth! The Department of the Air Force proudly recognizes and celebrates generations of LGBTQI+ service members and their contributions to our #AirForce & #SpaceForce.\u201d— U.S. Air Force (@U.S. Air Force) 1686157510
In response to the tweet, Boebert expressed her disapproval, stating:
"We salute one flag and one flag only in the United States of America."
"It isn't the 'Pride' flag."
You can see Boebert's tweet below.
\u201cWe salute one flag and one flag only in the United States of America.\n\nIt isn\u2019t the \u201cPride\u201d flag.\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
Boebert's comment quickly drew attention and sparked a backlash.
Her reaction on Twitter prompted many to highlight the hypocrisy of her stance given the prevalence of Trump-themed flags among the former President's supporters, including during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The imagery of Trump-themed flags alongside symbols of hate and white supremacy was etched in the memories of millions of Americans who witnessed the alarming events of that day.
The contrast between Boebert's condemnation of the Pride flag and her silence on the divisive flags associated with Trump's presidency fueled accusations of double standards and political opportunism.
\u201c@laurenboebert It is not the MAGA flag either!\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
\u201c@laurenboebert What about this one? We don\u2019t support this flag do we?\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
\u201c@laurenboebert Just like they use the bible as a cover for their hate and far-right extremist agenda, they also use the flag as a cover for their bigotry.\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
\u201c@laurenboebert What about the \u201cdon\u2019t tread on me flag?\u201d What about the \u201cTrump\u201d flag? Do you think people should stop waving those around too? What about State Flags? You didn\u2019t think this through very well, did you?\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
\u201cWhich one of these it is, babe?\n\n#TrumpFlag #MAGAFlag #DontTreadOnMe #StarsAndBars\u201d— T in KC (@T in KC) 1686186989
\u201c@laurenboebert So I guess the confederate flag is no longer a thing anymore for you guys?\nIs Six Flags now a traitor to the country because they actually fly Six Flags outside their theme parks?\nDo you guys actually read what you write anymore?\u201d— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1686184010
Boebert's reaction to the Air Force's tweet is just one example of many within right-wing circles.
After right-wing provocateur and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk claimed a "soldier" was saluting a flag in the Air Force tweet, liberal activist Brian Krassenstein hit back.
"I don't see a flag in the picture."
"I see a rainbow."
"I'm petty [sic] sure your brain is making you see things you aren't."
There also is no "soldier" in the image.
The U.S. Army has soldiers, the Navy has sailors, the Marine Corps—technically part of the Department of the Navy—has Marines, the Space Force—technically part of the Department of the Air Force—service members were given the title of guardians and the Air Force has airmen.
\u201c@charliekirk11 I don\u2019t see a flag in the picture. I see a rainbow. I\u2019m petty sure your brain is making you see things you aren\u2019t\u201d— Charlie Kirk (@Charlie Kirk) 1686167265
Pride Month, observed annually in June, holds significant importance for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. It serves as a time to recognize and celebrate the progress made in the fight for equality, while also acknowledging the ongoing struggles and advocating for further change.
Pride Month celebrations are not only embraced by individuals identifying as LGBTQ+, but also by many organizations and institutions that recognize the importance of diversity, inclusivity and acceptance.
The U.S. Air Force's tweet symbolizes the military's commitment to supporting and respecting its LGBTQ+ members.
The Air Force's participation in Pride Month activities aligns with its broader efforts to foster an inclusive environment within its ranks, where individuals can now serve openly and authentically without fear of discrimination or prejudice.