Memorial Day Reflections: Honoring Sacrifice Amidst Political Turmoil


On Memorial Day, the flag most people think about is the American flag, Old Glory, symbol of our nation. Whether it is a huge banner waving high in the soft breeze of early summer or one of the thousands of tiny replicas fluttering by gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery, it reminds us solemnly and respectfully of men and women who died serving in the military.

Sadly and distastefully, the Democratic Party, which increasingly represents the forces of domestic anti-Americanism, wants us instead to look suspiciously at a picture of the national flag hanging upside down three years ago outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Malevolent “progressives” allege, against all historical and circumstantial evidence, that the upside-down flag shows Alito supports former President Donald Trump and the Capitol rioters of Jan. 6, 2021. They argue from this that he should recuse himself from imminent decisions involving Trump’s right to immunity from prosecution.

On Thursday, May 23, soldiers from the U.S. Army Old Guard placed flags on gravesites in Arlington National Cemetery for the 76th anniversary of “Flags In.” Over 1,500 service members placed about 260,00 flags at every headstone and niche column in the cemetery in keeping with the annual tradition. (Graeme Jennings / Truth Voices)

Alito is one of six justices often identified as “conservative” but who should properly be thought of as originalist and textualist. This means he is one who interprets law according to what its words say rather than according to what he would prefer that they said. He wrote the 2022 Dobbs decision which, long past time, demolished the invented constitutional right to abortion.

Alito is thus the Left’s enemy No. 1. Or maybe he is No. 2, with Justice Clarence Thomas No. 1 because he committed the additional offense of being black. Enemies three, four, five, and six are the rest of the court’s 6-3 “conservative” majority.

They have been under sustained attack ever since Trump’s successful nomination of three of them created a majority that refuses to let the Supreme Court be used as an extraconstitutional legislature for items on the Left’s agenda that ordinary Americans don’t want, and the law doesn’t allow.

The Appeal to Heaven flag stands with the Louisiana state flag outside the district office of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., in the Cannon House Office Building, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2024. The flag was also seen outside Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s beach home in New Jersey last summer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Supreme Court has become what it was always supposed to be — a check and balance against overmighty executives and legislators trying to govern beyond the limits set by America’s founding document.

That is anathema to the Left, whose every agenda item works against America’s traditional values, most notably freedom. So, the Left is engaged in an all-out assault on the legitimacy of the court. It has resorted to the most picayune smears of a sort that would embarrass anyone capable of embarrassment.

The point of the upside-down flag controversy, and of another flap over a flag dating back to the nation’s founding, is to undermine and delegitimize the judiciary and prevent it from fulfilling its proper constitutional role. If the Left can smear Supreme Court members, barrack them into recusing themselves from key cases, and erode public confidence in its decisions, Democrats calculate that they will be able to pass “reforms,” such as packing the bench with lefties. This would amount in practice to rewriting the Constitution for partisan and ideological purposes.

This Memorial Day weekend, all Americans should remember those who served the country, and also remember what those citizens fought for. They wore the uniform to protect a Constitution that checks power-hungry militants such as those now clamoring for the defenestration of conservative justices.

Hugo Gurdon
Hugo Gurdon
Editor-in-chief. Hugo is the former editor-in-chief of the Hill and previously served as an editor and reporter at the Daily Telegraph of London and the National Post of Canada. His writing has also appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Guardian.

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