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Remove Christian nationalist flag, FFRF tells Rep. Steube

Screenshot 2024 01 19 at 10.41.04 AM

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is rebuking a member of Congress for flying a Christian nationalist flag associated with the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection outside his office in the Capitol.

Rep. Greg Steube, a Republican who represents Florida’s 17th District, took an oath on our country’s entirely secular Constitution and has no business placing this divisive sectarian endorsement in front of his Washington, D.C., office, stresses the national state/church watchdog.

The inherent religious significance of the Christian flag is undeniable, FFRF points out. The Christian flag was designed in the 1890s with the aim to unite all the world’s Christians under a single banner. The flag’s colors and emblem — the Latin cross — were chosen deliberately to represent core Christian principles and concepts. Its white field represents peace and purity. Its blue canton signifies fidelity. And most crucially, its Latin cross is colored red to denote the blood of Jesus symbolizes Christianity itself. By placing this flag outside his office, Steube is signaling that Christians of a certain ilk are favored “insiders” and that non-Christians and nonbelievers among his constituents are “outsiders.”

Just as troubling is the fact that he is lending support to a symbol co-opted by a treasonous movement connected with the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

“The Christian flag was proudly carried by many rioters and insurrectionists during the Jan. 6 putsch,” FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor write to Steube. “FFRF, along with the Baptists Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, published a report detailing the link between Christian nationalism and the Jan. 6 insurrection. The report documents how members of the mob carried the Christian flag as they marched to storm the Capitol.”

Placing this flag in front of his office sends an unfortunate message to Steube’s peers in Congress who, like him, were under siege on Jan. 6, that he seemingly supports those who sought to effect a coup to subvert the will of the people in addition to the peaceful transfer of power. And it sends an especially egregious and ungrateful signal to the courageous Capitol police, five of whom died and dozens of whom were injured while defending members of Congress, including Steube.

“This symbol of white Christian nationalism and treason should not tarnish congressional property,” FFRF tells Steube. It is evident that this flag cloaked the insurrectionists in a religious justification. The fact that Steube is flying it outside his congressional office lends what FFRF calls “unconscionable legitimacy” to their actions. It also sends a troubling message of endorsement for the intolerant and bigoted Christian nationalism movement as a whole.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation looks forward to Steube removing the flag immediately and issuing a public apology to his constituents and the nation.

You can read the entire FFRF letter to Rep. Greg Stuebe here.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with 40,000 members and several chapters across the country, including over 2,000 members and the Central Florida Freethought Community chapter in Florida. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

If you are an FFRF member, sign into your account here and then update your email subscriptions here.

To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.

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