Flag Burning in Portland

From the August 2017 Vexilloid Tabloid #65

As the recent 4th-of-July-weekend Blues Festival began, Portlanders continued their tradition of protest, often using flags.  At times that involved burning them.

The right-wing group Patriot Prayer planned a two-hour “Freedom March” at Tom McCall Waterfront Park with “a small amount of speeches to promote freedom   and courage”.  On Facebook it said “Fear will not silence Americans in these liberal strongholds.  Please bring your best behavior.”

Members of the Rose City Antifa burn a flag at the Portland Waterfront, 30 June 2017. Sarah Silbiger / The Oregonian

The opposition group Rose City Antifa [anti-fascist] organized an opposition rally called “Enough: Stop Patriot Prayer Now!”  On Facebook it said “We will not allow our community to be overrun by fascists and those who make excuses for them.”

Most demonstrators had passionate but peaceful conversations.   However, one fight started after some Antifa protesters burned flags.  One man tried to hit others with a broken flag pole.

Anti-Trump protesters burn an upside-down flag downtown, 20 January 2017. Beth Nakamura / The Oregonian

This behavior follows an incident where anti-Trump protesters burned American flags (and one Texas flag) in Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown on 20 January, Inauguration Day.

Eric Post

In response to that event, veteran Eric Post went to Willamette National Cemetery and recorded an emotional Facebook video at gravesites of Medal of Honor winners, inviting protesters to take a tour.  It went viral, with over 2 million views in three days.




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