President Donald Trump’s much-anticipated “Salute to America” celebration scheduled for the Fourth of July on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall may face trouble, as a group of activists are planning to desecrate an American flag.
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, activist Gregory Johnson said “I’m going to be there in D.C.” and “that rag of empire and oppression is going to burn.”
Johnson, who is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, is a longtime flag-burning protester and won a Supreme Court case in the 1980s against state laws regarding flag burning.
As part of “Salute to America,” the president will host an hour-long event at the Lincoln Memorial and lead in honoring the U.S. military from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July, accompanied by music, military demonstrations and flyovers. This year, D.C.’s fireworks will be moved away from the Lincoln Memorial to West Potomac Park.
However, it is unclear where and what time the flag-burning will be staged, as well as the number of protesters planning to attend.
The protest is coming at a time of a new debate centering around burning flags, as Trump recently endorsed a proposal for an amendment to the Constitution that would make the action a crime again. The president tweeted about the proposal last week, calling it a “no brainer.”
All in for Senator Steve Daines as he proposes an Amendment for a strong BAN on burning our American Flag. A no brainer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2019
Johnson believes that Trump intends to turn the Fourth of July celebrations “into a fascist extravaganza of ‘make America white again,’ xenophobia, jingoism, and American chauvinism.”
“I’ll be in town to make it happen and to help expose Trump’s fascist agenda with the message that America was never great. America was built on slavery, genocide, and war,” the activist said. “Instead of trying to go back to some dreamland America that never existed, we need to go forward to a world without America and everything it stands for.”
Among other protests planned to happen in D.C. on the Independence Day is flying the famous “Baby Trump” blimp over an area near the Lincoln Memorial, where the president will be addressing the nation. The activist group “Code Pink” was granted permission from the National Park Service for the action.
In the meantime, two veterans organizations, VoteVets and Rags of Honor, announced that they would hand out USS John McCain T-shirts on the National Mall on July 4 in order to honor the late Republican senator, who had a feud with Trump.