Tea Party members had some fun with their Gadsden Flag. Some waved it at soccer games, others flew it on poles. Others combined it with a Confederate Battle flag, and still others added captions of their own. The fun is gone now.
Two Las Vegas Metro officers are dead. Shot by a pair of white supremacists.
Witnesses told police one of the shooters yelled “This is the start of a revolution” before shooting the officers. Gillespie later said he could not confirm that.
The shooters then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. They then covered the officers with something that featured the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t tread on Me.” [LVRJ]
Let’s speculate for a moment what will happen to all those yellow banners in the wake of this tragedy.
There will be Gadsden flag owners who quietly fold up their flags and put them away in cupboards, drawers, or closets. They may well believe that whatever antipathy they have toward the government, it doesn’t do to wave a banner which was used to cover the bodies of police officers.
There may also be some enablers. Their banners may be relegated to the closet, but they will add this to their litany of complaints. IF the shooters hadn’t used the flag it would still be authentically American. The shooters by their lights are marginal, and not representative of the Tea Party movement, they are “not one of us.”
We’ll probably get some response from the excusers. IF the government hadn’t threatened to use force at the Bundy Ranch, IF the government hadn’t killed the person who assaulted the Georgia courthouse, IF the NSA didn’t spy on civilians, (blah, blah, blah) then the Patriots would not have felt compelled to drape the slain officers in the yellow flag. Now they can’t fly their flag anymore because ‘liberals’ will refer to the Las Vegas shooting.
A tiny minority will gather to the yellow flag cause. The two shooters will be martyrs, just what they might have had in mind. There are still some among us who find Timothy McVeigh a martyr to The Cause. Still some inclined to believe every e-mail forwarded to their inboxes filled with vitriolic, hyperbolic and wildly false information which they believe validates their warped world view.
But, this wasn’t “going out in a blaze of glory.” This was an ambush on two police officers who were having lunch. Two men, doing their job, for their community, their friends and their families. It was nothing more than a cowardly attack on two unsuspecting peace officers. Nothing more.
Yellow is the color of cowards.