The Cable

White Supremacist Web Forum Suggests Burning Rainbow Flags for July 4

Just a week after the Supreme Court knocked down a gay-marriage ban in the United States, white supremacists are suggesting burning rainbow flags for July 4.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 27: A woman helps Francisco Pavon, center, wave a rainbow pride flag and an American flag during a gay pride celebration on June 27, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide without regard to their state's laws. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 27: A woman helps Francisco Pavon, center, wave a rainbow pride flag and an American flag during a gay pride celebration on June 27, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry nationwide without regard to their state's laws. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

The Fourth of July. A time for patriotic Americans to set off fireworks, eat too many hot dogs, and … burn gay pride flags? That is, if you’re a homophobic white supremacist.

Members of Stormfront — an online white supremacist forum — this week discussed plans to burn the gay pride flag on America’s Independence Day and encouraged other forum users to do the same.

The comments came in response to an opinion piece posted on sodahead.com that first suggested using Saturday to protest the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down state bans on gay marriage.

One user, named “WhiteRights,” even encouraged his online peers to make sure they’re burning it legally.

After starting a conversation called “Burn the Gay Flag on July 4th, 2015 Nation-wide,” WhiteRights posted instructions for how to make it happen. “Sounds like fun,” he wrote. “Just make sure you’re in a place where you can legally burn it. We should do something in response to the recent Supreme Court decision on Gay marriage. Instead of buying a Gay flag, just grab an image of one off the Internet and send it to a color printer and then burn the print out.”

Another user asked which flag he meant. “Which gay flag?” he asked. “The stars and stripes or the rainbow?”

Last week’s Supreme Court decision has left gay-rights activists popping champagne and social conservatives — and, apparently, also white supremacists — with steam coming out of their ears.

President Barack Obama’s administration, which had argued at the Supreme Court in favor of extending gay-marriage rights nationwide, lit up the White House in the colors of the flag that Stormfront users now want to torch. With the White House lit like the rainbow, thousands flocked to celebrate outside. “To see people gathered in an evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole, and to feel accepted, and to feel that they had a right to love, that was pretty cool,” Obama said.

For some extremists opposed to the court’s decision, the 5-4 court decision left them angry enough to reconsider their Fourth of July plans. So much for lighting up the grill and listening to the 1812 overture on a picnic blanket outside. Some Americans will be burning the rainbow flag instead.

Photo credit: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola