Meeting with kids is a classic activity for politicians, and one that probably seems like it couldn’t go wrong. But when Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, shared a picture of President Trump coloring with children from Ohio, plenty of people were quick to criticize the president over the photo.
Azar may not have realized it at the time, but the image shows that Trump had colored a blue stripe onto the American flag. (To be clear, the stripes on the U.S. flag are red and white; the blue is the background to flag’s stars.)
The opioid crisis is one of our top priorities at HHS, with a drumbeat of action on the full range of efforts where we can assist local communities. Today, I joined @POTUS & @FLOTUS in Ohio to learn how states and communities are responding to the challenge of opioid addiction. pic.twitter.com/NwxSoeNznA
— Alex Azar (@SecAzar) August 25, 2018
The photo started gaining more attention when another Twitter user shared it with a zoom-in on the misplaced blue stripe. “The President has colored his flag wrong. That is all,” the Twitter user, Talia, wrote.
The President has colored his flag wrong.
That is all. pic.twitter.com/wWXBgR9I6V
— Talia (@2020fight) August 25, 2018
As Azar wrote in his tweet, Trump and first lady Melania Trump were in Ohio to talk about opioid addiction with affected communities. The president’s visit with children took place at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, CNN reported. But the conversation around opioid addiction doesn’t seem to be what most people took away from Trump’s Ohio visit.
After the photo began making the rounds, Twitter users started joking about why Trump might have drawn a blue stripe onto the flag. A number of people suggested that Trump was thinking of the Russian flag, which does feature a blue stripe.
He’s just getting it confused with his flag. pic.twitter.com/j1J1qTTmkO
— Christina (@christinavotes) August 25, 2018
At some point, someone will notice that by coloring in a blue stripe into the red and white stripes of the US flag today, President Trump was starting to create a Russian Flag. Now that's what I call a Freudian Slip !
(@davidfrum @jaketapper @joshtpm @BillKristol @jk_rowling) pic.twitter.com/mQaxuLCv1s
— Greg McKenna (@Quesobear) August 25, 2018
Trump is either really really ignorant, or he's really really unpatriotic!
No one colors the America flag with blue stripes unless it's really the Russian flag! pic.twitter.com/TNC4cnyYE4
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) August 25, 2018
Others suggested President Trump meant to honor the police with his coloring choice.
Good job media. Hurr-durr Trump doesn't know what color the flag is. Well, what it's meant to represent is the "thin blue line" between chaos and order, also known as the police. They're far from perfect but so is society. God forbid we have a pro-police president. pic.twitter.com/Bq5tpq46zk
— Jack Hammer (@Cleggermeister) August 25, 2018
Ok so I obviously strongly dislike Trump, maybe even hate, but stop reaching saying he doesn’t know the colors of the flag. He was obviously coloring a blue police stripe thing…I hope. There are better things to spend your energy on. 🤷🏻♀️
— Natasha Hart (@EuniceMurt) August 26, 2018
Then this is why. He supports cops. Simple. pic.twitter.com/RKl2iKxXK7
— RobertTrader (@WethepeopleT) August 26, 2018
But not everyone believed that theory. As one person pointed out, Trump also colored in a red stripe, which isn’t featured on the police flag.
There are two flaws in that statement. First of all Trump used red and there's no red in the police flag. Secondly the blue stripe on the police flag is the fifth line from the top, meanwhile Trump coloured the fourth. Just look at it before trying to defend him.
— 𝒊 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒗𝒆 (@nevermind_chim) August 26, 2018
Not surprisingly, many people thought Trump’s apparent mistake was a bit hypocritical, considering his criticism of football players who’ve kneeled during the national anthem. The movement, started by Colin Kaepernick, is about protesting police brutality.
American flag's stripes are red and white.
Trump should know this, considering the fit he throws when someone kneels at a football game "disrespecting the flag".
Trump is coloring blue and red stripes. 🙄🙄🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 25, 2018
Trump literally doesn't know what the American Flag looks like, but think's he has the right to tell people that they can not kneel during the National Anthem… pic.twitter.com/Wsd6sX0bFi
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) August 25, 2018
@realDonaldTrump You berate athletes who kneel & you don't even know the words to the national anthem. When you sing your mouth doesn't match the words. Now you have shown you don't even know what colors are in the flag. Unbelievable. Trump your hands even lie. https://t.co/WMiic7mg4R
— DS (@dshepherd62) August 26, 2018
For his part, Trump hasn’t addressed his coloring controversy on Twitter, though he did post several tweets about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails on Saturday. Maybe the president is taking a cue from his wife’s playbook and deciding he really doesn’t care.
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