Lindsey Graham lectures Alito for flag, Mike Lee hits back in defense of Supreme Court justice: ‘Every right to hang whatever flag’

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently lectured Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for allowing his home to fly an upside-down American flag and another flag with historical significance dating back to the early stages of the American War of Independence. Two Republican lawmakers have come to the defense of Justice Alito following a hailstorm of attacks by liberal media outlets and Democrats.

Last week, Obama hagiographer Jodi Kantor wrote an article in the New York Times centering on an American flag that was displayed upside down outside Alito’s New Jersey vacation home in mid-January 2021.

Alito said that his wife – Martha-Ann Alito – flew the flag in their yard “in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

Alito explained that his neighbor had a “F*** Trump” sign that was within 50 feet of where children await the school bus. The neighbor allegedly blamed the January 6th riots on Mrs. Alito and “engaged in vulgar language, ‘including the c-word.'”

The conservative Supreme Court justice noted that the flag was only flown for a “short time.”

The New York Times then ran another article highlighting that an “Appeal to Heaven” flag was displayed outside Alito’s vacation home in July and September 2023.

The Times attempted to frame the flags as having negative connotations because some protesters carried the flags during the Jan. 6 demonstration and riot.

The Appeal to Heaven flag, also known as the “Pine Tree Flag,” has historical roots in the Revolutionary War.

The flag was commissioned by George Washington, and has been in existence since 1775. The flag was first used by the Massachusetts Navy during the American Revolutionary War. It was among the first flags to symbolize the American colonies’ pursuit of independence from the British.

The flag features a green pine tree and the phrase “An appeal to Heaven.”

“An appeal to Heaven” is a quote from British political philosopher John Locke – who is often credited as a founder of modern liberal thought.

The quote is from Locke’s “Second Treatise,” written in 1689.

The old question will be asked in this matter of prerogative, But who shall be judge when this power is made a right use of? I answer: Between an executive power in being, with such a prerogative, and a Legislative that depends upon his will for their convening, there can be no judge on Earth: As there can be none, between the legislative, and the people, should either the executive, or the legislative, when they have got the power in their hands, design, or go about to enslave, or destroy them. The people have no other remedy in this, as in all other cases where they have no judge on Earth, but to appeal to Heaven.

Locke adds:

And therefore, tho’ the people cannot be Judge, so as to have by the constitution of that society any superior power, to determine and give effective sentence in the case; yet they have, by a law antecedent and paramount to all positive laws of men, reserved that ultimate determination to themselves, which belongs to all mankind, where there lies no appeal on Earth, viz. to judge whether they have just cause to make their appeal to Heaven. And this Judgment they cannot part with, it being out of a man’s power so to submit himself to another, as to give him a liberty to destroy him; God and nature never allowing a man so to abandon himself, as to neglect his own preservation: And since he cannot take away his own life, neither can he give another power to take it. Nor let anyone think, this lays a perpetual foundation for disorder: for this operates not, till the inconvenience is so great, that the majority feel it, and are weary of it, and find a necessity to have it amended. But this the executive power, or wise princes, never need come in the danger of: And ’tis the thing of all others, they have most need to avoid, as of all others the most perilous.

The U.S. Postal Service issued the Appeal to Heaven flag as a stamp in 1968.

Graham pilloried Alito for flying the flags.

“Emotions are apparently high in that neighborhood,” Graham told reporters on Monday. “But no, it’s not good judgment to do that. He said his wife was insulted and got mad. I assume that to be true, but he’s still a Supreme Court justice, and people have to realize that [at] moments like that to think it through.”

‘Martha-Ann Alito has every right to hang whatever flag she wants.’

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) took Graham to task over his criticism of Justice Alito.

Responding to a post on the X social media platform with Graham’s response to the flag controversy, Lee fired back: “Martha-Ann Alito has every right to hang whatever flag she wants. In whatever manner she wants. She is a free citizen. And a freedom-loving, American patriot.”

He continued, “Her husband doesn’t speak for her. And she doesn’t speak for her husband. Why can’t the left accept that?”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) also defended Justice Alito.

Johnson declared the Pine Tree flag has “nothing to do with” the “stop the steal” protests.

He told CNN on Wednesday, “It’s George Washington’s flag. It goes back to the founder’s era. I’ve always flown that flag.”

Johnson currently has an Appeal to Heaven flag outside his office.

A Rolling Stone hit piece on Johnson from November 2023 tried to manufacture outrage because Johnson had the Pine Tree flag outside his office in the Cannon House Office Building.

The article – titled “The Key to Mike Johnson’s Christian Extremism Hangs Outside His Office” – claimed of Johnson, “He’s also a dyed-in-the-wool Christian conservative, and there’s a flag hanging outside his office that leads into a universe of right-wing religious extremism as unknown to most Americans as Johnson was before he ascended to the speakership.”

The far-left outlet alleged that the Pine Tree flag was a “symbol of Christian warfare.”

“To understand the contemporary meaning of the Appeal to Heaven flag, it’s necessary to enter a world of Christian extremism animated by modern-day apostles, prophets, and apocalyptic visions of Christian triumph that was central to the chaos and violence of Jan. 6,” the article reads.

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