Disabled veteran Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) took issue with fellow Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) over the way she chose to transport her American flag while she was moving from one office to another.
Mast, who lost both legs and his left index finger in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while clearing a path for the Army Rangers in Kandahar, Afghanistan — was clearly unimpressed when he saw that Jackson Lee had placed a rolled up American flag in a trash can in the hallway with instructions detailing where it was to be moved.
“Today’s rescue mission: saving Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s American flag from the garbage can,” Mast tweeted a photo of the offending trash can along with a short video. “@JacksonLeeTX18, anytime you’d like a lesson on flag etiquette, let me know. It’s one of the first things we’re taught in basic training.”
Today’s rescue mission: saving Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s American flag from the garbage can. @JacksonLeeTX18, anytime you’d like a lesson on flag etiquette, let me know. It’s one of the first things we’re taught in basic training. pic.twitter.com/dZljLi41GA
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) December 8, 2022
“So, this is a W-T-F moment here in the House of Representatives,” Mast began, adding, “People moving offices and this is apparently where Representative Sheila Jackson Lee keeps her American flag, her POW flag, in the garbage can, in the trash.”
Mast panned the camera to show the trash can in the hallway, clearly labeled with a sign saying where it was to be moved.
“That’s her idea of appropriate for moving the American flag. WTF. What the — what the hell is wrong with these people?” he asked.
Some critics quickly pointed out that Jackson Lee was only moving the flag and did not likely mean for it to remain in the trash can, but Mast himself acknowledged that — and his argument appeared to simply be that even just transporting a flag in a trash can was disrespectful.
And according to the U.S. Flag Code (4 U.S. Code Ch. 1), Mast makes a reasonable point:
- §8 (b) “The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”
- §8 (e) “The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.”