Rantz: Dem Rep. Kim Schrier temporarily replaces POW flag with trans pride flag
CORRECTION: After looking at another photo, it appears the Pride flag in front of Rep. Adam Smith’s office is hung up next to the POW flag. The original photo we saw blocked the POW flag in front of Smith’s office and I regret the error. It remains unclear if Smith’s office took down an American flag to make room or if they added a fourth flag (which is what this blog suggests they do). Kudos if he did. I’ve updated the title to make it more clear.
A report in the Washington Free Beacon notes several Democratic representatives pulled down POW/MIA flags, replacing them with transgender pride flags for International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31.
Among the Washington delegation to participate? Democratic Reps. Kim Schrier (WA-08) and Adam Smith (WA-09).
“We were asked to fly the Transgender Equality flag by the National Center for Transgender Equality this week ahead of Transgender Visibility Day on Sunday,” a spokesperson for Schrier told the Beacon. “Our POWMIA flag has been in the Congresswoman’s office this week. And will be back outside our office tomorrow.”
As a proud member of the @LGBTEqCaucus, I will do everything I can to make sure transgender people #WontBeErased by violence, fear or prejudice. I am committed to safety and equality for all. #TransVisibilityWeek pic.twitter.com/eB9nihPsaI
— Rep. Kim Schrier (@RepKimSchrier) March 27, 2019
Rep. Smith tweeted out an image, with his support: “During #TransVisibilityWeek I join in solidarity with transgender constituents in WA09 and transgender people across the country. In the halls of Congress, we should always remember our commitment to safety and equality for everyone. My office is welcome and open to all.”
Depending on who you ask — or who you follow on Twitter — the move was a courageous act of support for the transgender community, or a slap in the face to POWs. This shouldn’t be controversial.
For me, I had a simple question: Why replace a flag at all? Why not just add it to the wall display?
Apparently, there are rules preventing an addition of a fourth flag.
Traditionally, members of Congress display an American flag, POW/MIA flag, and the flag from the state they represent. You’re not allowed to display more than three flags, nor are you supposed to hang anything outside your door, Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA02) told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, citing rules from the Architect of the Capitol.
What happens if you violate the congressional rules? Nothing, really. You might get a letter asking you to comply and, generally, members of Congress will comply.
But given it’s a rather toothless rule, all these Democrats who might be taking flack for disrespecting the POW/MIA flag should have just put up a fourth flag. By the time they got a letter to stick to three flags, the International Transgender Day of Visibility would have already passed.
By the way, if you care enough about transgender rights and visibility – and need a flag to make that point — why not just keep the flag up permanently? Does your concern only last a week? Put up the fourth flag and fight the good fight.
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