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Salt Lake City Major League Soccer Team Bans Betsy Ross Flag

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Fox 13 Salt Lake City (Lauren Steinbrecher) reports that fans displaying the “Betsy Ross” flag (the American flag with 13 stars) were told they had to take it down or leave.

Team management apparently confirmed that this was team policy:

“At Real Salt Lake it is our mission to unify our community through soccer and we promote inclusion, diversity and acceptance. It is important that everyone in the community not only feel welcome at our stadiums, but appreciated, respected and valued. Rio Tinto Stadium is reflective of that on match day and we encourage a unifying and welcoming environment to all fans at all of our RSL and Utah Royals FC matches. To be permitted to bring a flag into any of our stadiums is a privilege. Recently, and very controversially as well as surprising to us, the Colonial flag has been adopted as a symbol for hate groups. Any controversial flags or other similar banners or signs with symbols of hatred, divisiveness and/or intolerance whether intentional or otherwise will not be permitted in our stadiums. Period.”

– Andy Carroll, Chief Business Officer, Real Salt Lake

Because nothing says “inclusion, diversity and acceptance” like telling people that symbols of their country—historical symbols that have long been used simply as representing the nation, and that only a small fraction of the population uses for their own more specific ideological messaging—are unwelcome. Makes me wish I liked going to soccer games, so I could honestly say I was boycotting that stadium ….

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