House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gifted Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, a folded, encased American flag during a photo-op.
Pelosi posted the images to both her Twitter and Facebook page to inform everyone that the flag she gifted Philonise was “the flag that flew over the Capitol on the day of his brother’s murder.”
George Floyd died last month in police custody after an officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
The officer at the center of the arrest, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder.
“Philonise Floyd’s heart-wrenching testimony to the House Judiciary Committee left its mark on us all. May this flag, which flew over the Capitol on the day of his brother’s murder, serve as a symbol of our shared commitment to securing justice for George and all victims of police violence,” Pelosi captioned the photo on social media.
Philonise Floyd’s heart-wrenching testimony to @HouseJudiciary left its mark on us all. May this flag, which flew over the Capitol on the day of his brother’s murder, serve as a symbol of our shared commitment to securing justice for George & all victims of police violence. pic.twitter.com/Dl3LXDGF7t
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 10, 2020
Folded American flags are typically given to the families of United States Military members or first responders who died in the line of duty.
“A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces,” states the Veterans Affairs government website. “It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country.”
“Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays,” the website adds.
According to the VA website, here are some examples of who is eligible for the burial flags:
- Veteran who served during wartime
- Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
- Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
- Peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950 after serving at least one enlistment, or for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty
- Certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
- Certain former members of the Selected Reserves
Pelosi’s Facebook post racked up a lot of comments, with several coming from Americans who were not pleased with the photo-op or the gifting of the flag.
Below are a few examples from her Facebook post:
- “Pelosi You are a horrible woman. You have now trivialized the meaning of the US Flag. That presentation is for members of the US armed forces and veterans. Not a political game of pandering.”
- “Proving you have no idea what a service flag represents.”
- “So wrong….trying to get votes.”
- “All Veterans should be angry with this action and she should be voted out of office. After serving as the Noncommissioned Officer In Charge of a six and three-man burial teams and having to present the Flag to a family member of the deceased, this is a disgrace to all Military personal who have passed in service to their country. This man, as far as I know, did not [serve] in the Military…”
This comes as several Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists have called for “defunding” police departments.