On April 6 the flag of the Peoples’ Republic of China was flown in the honorary position at the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. A group of tea party conservatives marched on the capitol and demanded that the flag be taken down, with many conservative news outlets calling Governor Jay Inslee a communist and a traitor.
The entire thing has been not only taken out of proportion but out of complete disregard of the reasoning and the law behind it. Allow me to take you in for a closer look at why this isn’t a big deal.
The Chinese ambassador to the United States was in Olympia to meet Governor Inslee. It is customary to fly the flag of a visiting country, as seen frequently at the White House over the past century when foreign leaders and diplomats are in town. There is no difference at the state level. It is customary to do so and always has been.
Second, it is written in state law that the flag of another country be flown in the honorary spot to the right of the flag of the United States and to the left of the state flag, as seen here from the Washington Secretary of State website:
- U.S. flag in the position of highest honor (the observer’s extreme left or the highest point in a grouping of flags).
- The flag or flags of other nations ranked in alphabetical order.
- The Washington State flag.
Yes, China has some pretty bad working conditions and human rights problems. I understand that and I will not support the Chinese government, but the tea party has gone a little too far this time in trying to publicly shame democrats. Nothing was unusual about the event except that a few conservatives got angry at state protocol and it proceeded to be blown out of proportion on social media.
And to all the conservative-slanted websites saying “patriots” tore down the Chinese flag, they did not. A state worker took it down on routine schedule, as seen on the video feature on the Huffington Post website. Get your facts straight.