We can’t guarantee it, but we’re assuming Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) isn’t getting her information about conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh directly from his radio show, since she links instead to a piece in Politico which, by the way, makes no claim that Limbaugh ever “equated” the American and Confederate flags.
A better source for Limbaugh’s beliefs can be found in a transcript of his June 23 broadcast, during which he wrapped up a discussion of the Confederate flag controversy with this prediction:
…I’ll make another prediction to you. The next flag that will come under assault, and it will not be long, is the American flag. Do not look at me that way. It makes perfect sense. If you take a look at the timeline of progressive events, their speed and rapidity with which the left is conducting this assault on all of these American traditions and institutions, if you don’t think the American flag’s in their crosshairs down the road, you had better stop and reconsider.
The American flag is what? It’s the symbol of America. The left what? Doesn’t like this country very much and never has and it’s getting angrier and angrier about it seemingly every day. The American flag stands for the United States of America and, as such, everything that’s wrong with it. And you wait. It isn’t gonna be long before the American flag is gonna cause chills, fear, scary thoughts, it’s gonna make me nervous, the American flag, when I see the American flag, it’s a symbol of hate.
So no, Limbaugh was not equating the two flags; rather, he’s predicting that the United States flag will eventually come under similar attack as a symbol of hate. Just for fun, let’s give Twitter a quick scan.
OK, compiling those took a good 10 minutes or so and doesn’t take into account all of the American flags burned at #BlackLivesMatter protests.
Just to add some context to Limbaugh’s prediction, remember that we live in a time when the University of Michigan canceled a screening of “American Sniper” because “it made students feel unsafe and unwelcome.” A court ruled that a school district had the right to ban American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo. And agree or not with Gov. Nikki Haley’s speech on taking down the Confederate flag, part of her reasoning was “the fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the Capitol grounds.”
In today’s environment when hurt and hatred is more and more often met with capitulation, is it any wonder that the American flag itself could soon be in the crosshairs?