The famous TV and movie star Chris Pratt has been accused of being a ‘white supremasist’ by social media users and Yahoo News for wearing a T-shirt with the Gadsden flag. The American flag T-shirt also had a slogan “Don’t Tread On Me” on it.
Chris Pratt is mostly known for starring in the famous TV show Parks & Recreations as well as being one of the Guardians of the Galaxy in popular Marvel series. He is one of the most popular US actors at the moment.
What’s with the Gadsden flag?
This flag was created by Continental Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Gadsden in 1775. It depicts the coiled rattlesnake and the “Don’t tread on me” motto which was meant to symbolize liberty. It was widely used during the Revolutionary War.
This flag is indeed used by some American white supremacists, yet not by them alone. Popular metal band Metallica and even the US male soccer team proudly wave the flag for many years now.
Yahoo News in their article on the issue stated that “over the years the flag has been adopted by Far Right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.” And while the symbol indeed may be “sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.” that still does not make it white supremacist, or otherwise, we might run out of symbols to use very soon.
Yet the main debate is going on the social media, as always. While some criticize Pratt for wearing a T-shirt with “white supremacist dogwhistle” others see nothing wrong in being patriotic.
Famous conservative correspondent Ben Shapiro called these accusations a “pure idiocy”:
This is pure idiocy. Not every symbol of the early republic is a white supremacist symbol, unless you are a moron. https://t.co/zWT7GZK602— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 17, 2019
The critics of the attack also remind the other side about the flag’s adoption by the US Navy. Carl Higbie tweeted: “How the hell is the “don’t tread on me” flag, which is fully authorized by the @USNavy racist? Stay strong @prattprattpratt”. The actor or his reps didn’t respond to the attack immediately.
It is also worth noting, that Yahoo News updated the article since it went viral. The popular news outlet changed the original headline of the material.