This is in response to a Barry Rascovar column published Monday.
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By Brian Griffiths and Greg Kline
It was only a matter of time before Barry Rascovar jumped to the defense of the radical left when it comes to our efforts to protect our state flag. For a guy who vilely attacked Governor Hogan when he had cancer, we’re only surprised it took him so long to attack a movement that is supported by over 50,000 Marylanders.
“Now Hogan has decided to capitalize on “fake news,” another Trump specialty. He happily jumped on board a totally fictionalized assertion by a right-wing website [Red Maryland] that “radicals” in the state legislature were about to change the state flag due to localized Confederate ties during the Civil War.”
Rascovar has a reputation for being intellectually lazy and it shows in this passage. Rascovar invents out of whole cloth this idea that our petition was aimed at “radicals in the state legislature.” This is patently false. Go look at the petition for yourself and point out where the General Assembly was mentioned in the petition.
This says nothing of the fact that in the aftermath of our petition that support for our flag has been expressed by Senate President Mike Miller, House Speaker Mike Busch, and many other legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle.
The fact, which is inconvenient to Rascovar and to other self-professed liberal “intellectuals,” is that there are left-wing radicals who are trying to make political hay out of our flag. Something that the Baltimore Sun wrote about just days before the tragedy in Charlottesville.
Canadian transplant Benjamin Jancewicz went on a Twitter screed about the flag on July 30th, all with the hashtag of #NoConfederate. Why did Jancewicz do this? In his words, he did it to “piss off some racists” and because “The real legacy of the Maryland flag is actually the unwillingness of white people to rid themselves completely of racism.”
In the same article, he referred to those who defended Maryland’s flag as “Confederate apologists”. The article also quoted officials with the Maryland Historical Society related that our state flag was adopted after an effort “probably led by Confederate veterans” who were “the guys who are the most enthusiastic” about the flag’s adoption in 1904 during the depths of the “Jim Crow” era.
Nearly identical sets of facts as those detailed by the Baltimore Sun and the self-styled anti-Confederate activist Jancewicz were repeatedly cited in the late night removal of statues around the state, from Baltimore to Annapolis to Howard County.
Just last week, the General Assembly’s Asian caucus cited similar facts in announcing an effort to change our state song. This blitz on everything carrying the mark of “Confederate” in the days following Charlottesville seemed unstoppable.
In this context, the Sun’s reporting on our state flag seems a likely precursor to its change as it had been for similar reporting on other “Confederate” symbols.
In the current charged political environment, the possibility of an effort to remove our flag seemed not only possible but likely. That was why we at Red Maryland determined to literally rally around the flag and push back on this political correctness run amok.
Groundswell of support for unifying symbol
Much to even our surprise, when we did so, we found a groundswell of support for an end to the eradication of our state symbols and history and embodied in the over 50,000 people who signed our petition and with the overwhelming response of elected officials on both sides of the aisle and all parts of the political spectrum that changing our state flag, despite its indisputable “Confederate ties,” was wrong and unthinkable.
Our state flag is a unifying symbol for millions of Marylanders, of all political affiliations, religions, races, and creeds. It seems it still is. Hardly “fake news”, this petition effort and the attention it drew preemptively brought introspection and discussion about what the logical end of our current ceaseless assault on our state symbols and history would mean. In time we hope we can look back at this petition as when the assault on our state’s history and symbols ended.
But rather than seeing this most positive lesson, out-of-touch leftists like Rascovar, State Senator Rich Madaleno, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and others are attacking Gov. Hogan for standing up for our flag. They are trying to compare him to President Trump. And why?
Because the Democrats know that they can’t beat Governor Hogan next year and have nothing else to run on. They sensed with his acquiescence on the removal of the statue of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney they had an issue they could bully him on and divide Marylanders who overwhelmingly approve of the job Governor Hogan is doing.
So if a has-been columnist like Rascovar wants to continue to burn straw men, let him. We at Red Maryland will gladly stand with the majority of Marylanders who are standing with our governor and with our flag.
Brian Griffiths and Greg Kline are co-founders of RedMaryland.com. Follow them on Twitter @RedMaryland, @BrianGriffiths, and @GregoryKline. You can reach them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 410-205-4875.