The American Legion is spitting mad that some members of Congress have removed the black POW/MIA flags from their office entrances and replaced them with transgender equality flags.
The Legion issued a press release Friday expressing "extreme displeasure" with the swap. National Commander Brett Reistad said he takes no issue with members of Congress honoring additional groups but, he added, "it should be in addition to, rather than instead of our heroes."
"These servicemen and servicewomen went missing while defending all Americans. Their flags should not go missing as well," Reistad said in the release.
The National Center for Transgender Equality sent flags to all members of Congress to commemorate the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. According to media reports, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, swapped out their POW/MIA flags for the banners.
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court granted a government request to lift an injunction against a proposed ban on people with gender dysphoria serving in the U.S. military, a decision that will allow the policy to go into effect April 12.
Two days later, the House voted 238-185 on a nonbinding resolution opposing the policy. In a floor speech Thursday, Pelosi called the ban "an act of cruelty."
"There is no moral justification for this ban, which violates every value of our American democracy and betrays our fundamental belief in fairness, dignity and respect," she said.
Reistad said every member of Congress should honor POWs and those missing in action by showing the flag. Lawmakers should ensure, he said, that it is "properly and permanently displayed outside their offices."
-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @patriciakime.