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Twitter users denounce U.S. Sen. Marshall’s claim president broke flag rules at White House

By: - June 11, 2023 6:19 pm
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, joined others in the congressional delegation to seek aggressive investigation of the source of COVID-19 given suspicion it emerged from a laboratory in China. (Screen capture of Marshall's news conference)

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, mistakenly alleged President Joe Biden violated federal flag rules by displaying a LGBTQ flag on a White House balcony. The senator's attack on Biden didn't take note of the U.S. flag flying atop the White House nor did it delve into details of flag rules. (Kansas Reflector screen capture of Marshall's news conference).

TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall took to social media Sunday to allege President Joe Biden violated federal flag code by hanging from the White House balcony a pair of U.S. flags straddling a colorful flag honoring LGBTQ rights.

Marshall declared on Twitter that Biden appeared more invested in celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month than embracing national patriotism, but the Kansas Republican senator’s analysis didn’t reference the U.S. flag atop the White House nor contents of the flag code.

“This is a disgrace,” Marshall tweeted under an image of the three flags. “Not only is it in breach of US Flag Code, but it’s a glaring example of this White House’s incompetence and insistence on putting their social agenda ahead of patriotism.”

Individuals viewing Marshall’s post on Twitter delivered a barrage of responses, including James H. Hill who said the senator’s outrage over a flag representing acceptance and equality was “nothing short of astonishing.”

“Sorry to burst your bubble, but patriotism isn’t defined by the rigidity of your flag display, but rather by the principles your country stands for,” Hill said. “Last I checked, ‘liberty and justice for all’ was a pretty big one. The social agenda you’re apparently so afraid of is about inclusivity, love and equal rights for all Americans, regardless of who they love. If that’s an ‘incompetence’ in your book, perhaps it’s time for a revision.”

Biden welcomed a crowd of hundreds to the White House on Saturday in celebration of Pride Month amid a movement among conservative state lawmakers to introduce and pass legislation targeting the transgender community. Biden said during the South Lawn event his message, especially aimed at transgender children, was: “You are loved. You are heard. You’re understood. And, you belong.”

The  flurry of Twitter replies to Marshall’s post highlighted a belief Biden didn’t break flag rules because a U.S. flag was flying atop the White House during the LGBTQ event. Rule No. 7 says the nation’s flag ought to be at the center and the highest point of a group when paired with flags of states or localities displayed from staffs.

“Flag code is: American flag at center. The one on the top of the White House is centered. You are absolutely the dumbest doctor alive,” said commentator Keith Olbermann, who has worked for MSNBC, Fox Sports and ESPN.

Others directed attention to flag rule No. 10, which says the commander in chief of U.S. armed forces could alter, modify, repeal or add to rules pertaining to display of the U.S. flag whenever appropriate or desirable.

While some commenting on Twitter shared support for Marshall’s perspective on civil liberties, others blasted the first-term senator for suggesting people advancing LGBTQ rights were not sufficiently patriotic.

Several noted Marshall responded to the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol by voting against certifying results of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona and Pennsylvania due to unproven theories misconduct contributed to Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.

More than 90 of Marshall’s colleagues in the Senate voted to affirm Biden’s victory over the incumbent GOP president in those swing states. Marshall subsequently conceded Biden would be sworn in as U.S. president.

“You supported a coup,” said Twitter poster John Oeffinger. “Don’t lecture us on patriotism. You have no standing.”

Marshall served in the U.S. Army Reserve and reached the rank of captain. The Kansas physician was elected to the U.S. House in 2016 and the U.S. Senate in 2020.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International.