Newsweek publishes article calling POW/MIA flag racist; many heads explode

Proving that when liberals are given an inch they want to take a mile, attacks on the Confederate flag have moved to a target almost universally revered among conservatives: the POW/MIA flag.

And social media is fighting back.

The newest front is a column Newsweek republished Tuesday by liberal journalist Rick Perlstein, whose column titled “It’s Time to Haul Down Another Flag of Racist Hate” appeared in The Washington Spectator on Monday.

“You know that racist flag?” he wrote. “The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.

“Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about the POW/MIA flag.”

Perlstein argued that the North Vietnamese were the actual victims of the Vietnam War and that the torturous acts they are blamed for were actually carried out by the South Vietnamese.

It memorializes Americans as the preeminent victims of the Vietnam War, a notion seared into the nation’s visual unconscious by the Oscar-nominated 1978 film The Deer Hunter, which depicts acts of sadism, which were documented to have been carried out by our South Vietnamese allies, as acts committed by our North Vietnamese enemies, including the famous scene pictured on The Deer Hunter poster: a pistol pointed at the American prisoner’s head at exactly the same angle of the gun in the famous photograph of the summary execution in the middle of the street of an alleged Communist spy by a South Vietnamese official.

A POW / MIA flag fflies above the White House photo via

Perlstein never actually bothers to explain why the POW/MIA flag is “racist” — or who it’s supposed to be “racist” against. In fact he never even mentions the word again after the click-bait first-sentence question. But he’s certain it has to come down.

“That damned flag: it’s a shroud,” he wrote. “It smothers the complexity, the reality, of what really happened in Vietnam.

“We’ve come to our senses about that other banner of lies. It’s time to do the same with this.”

Perhaps liberals will only be happy when the rainbow flag is the only flag left.

Social media lost no time slashing back in defense of the POW/MIA banner.


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