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Patriotic Images or Symbols of Violent Extremism?

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, grilled FBI Director Christopher Wray about apparently leaked training materials that characterized patriotic U.S. flags as symbols of domestic “militia violent extremism.”

FBI SYMBOLS OF “MILITIA EXTREMISM”

“Director Wray, what are y’all doing?” asked Cruz, referring to a blown-up copy of the Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide behind him. “This makes no sense.”

  • Cruz singled out for criticism three flags on the list, which the FBI has declined to confirm or deny is authentic.
  • He noted that each of the flags is in mainstream usage.

BETSY ROSS FLAG: Joe Biden was sworn in as both president and vice president under the Betsy Ross Flag.

GADSDEN FLAG: Residents of Virginia and several other states have the option of personalizing their license plates with the Gadsden Flag.

GONZALEZ BATTLE FLAG: The flag, which Cruz demonstrated is emblazoned on his cowboy boots, commemorates how American colonists responded to Mexican soldiers’ demand that they return a cannon, sparking the Texas Revolution in 1835.

WATCH THE VIRAL MOMENT

Wray pushed back on Cruz’s suggestion that the FBI has a liberal bias, but the senator brought receipts.

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