In recent years the Gadsden flag has become increasingly popular among conservatives and libertarians. And since so many leftists view those ideologies as racist and hateful, they’ve come to view that flag in the same light, regardless of its historical context.
Which may explain a recent decision made by a federal agency known as the Equal Employment Commission. They’re responsible for handling harassment claims made by federal employees, and earlier this year they received a complaint from a black Postal Service employee. He claimed that the federal government had subjected him to racial discrimination because a coworker was allowed to a wear a hat with a Gadsden flag emblem.
As for why he thought the flag was racist, he cited the fact that the creator of the flag, Christopher Gadsden, was a slave owner, and because the flag was used by Tea Party activists. In reality, the flag has no racial connotations, and not just because being a Tea Party activist doesn’t automatically make someone a racist. The flag was created as a military banner during the Revolutionary War. It has no racial context.
The Equal Employment Commission decided that the flag wasn’t racist, but their decision came with a caveat. They said that the Gadsden flag could be “interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts,” and that “Certainly, Complainant ascribes racial connotations to the symbol based on observations that it is sometimes displayed in racially-tinged situations.”
They’ve decided that this complaint needs to be investigated further to determine if the Gadsden hat was worn in a racial context. If that’s found to be the case, you can probably expect every federal worker who wears the symbol to be eyed with suspicion by their bosses in the future (if they aren’t already).
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.