An artist based in Utah has published images of his latest painting. The portrait includes President Trump standing at the center of a football stadium – and is a confrontation to the dozens of professional NFL players who have been taking a knee during the anthem to protest police violence and racial injustice. Because military personnel and police officers saw the anthem protest as a direct affront to their patriot values, the artist Jon McNaughton turned to his canvas to show the President holding a trampled flag to his breast in a fatherly gesture of protection.
Protestors of the anthem have been accused of trampling on the American flag and disrespecting military service men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the country. And the image plays right into that conversation.
In “Respect the Flag,” McNaughton depicts a heroic-looking President Trump standing in the middle of an NFL football stadium with a muddied and disrespected flag pressed to the center of his chest in the act of protection.
As you can imagine, the artist’s painting has caused a stir among the leftist who supports activist Colin Kaepernick and the other NFL players who have taken a knee during the anthem in the act of protest. But many people find their act disgraceful to American patriotism and the men and women putting their lives in harm’s way to keep the country safe.
McNaughton accepted an invitation to speak on Fox & Friends and described how the NFL protests wounded him. He said that seeing professional players kneeling during the anthem felt disrespectful to the people who sacrificed their lives for America.
The artist decided to use his skill in painting to join the conversation and share his voice.
“I wanted to paint an image that would reflect what happened there and also the way President Trump stood up for American values when he interjected himself into this,” McNaughton said.
The artist has made other patriotic and Christian paintings before. And he admits that liberals have attacked him for his art which supports conservative family values and patriotism.
“They can’t believe an artist would take the time to paint something like this,” McNaughton said. “But then everybody else sees the painting, and they identify with it, and it takes off.”
In the YouTube video below, you can watch McNaughton painting the flag.
He used the following words to describe his reason for making the painting and the video.
“I respect America. I respect the flag, the anthem, and the President; because he doesn’t back down to those who do not. When the NFL players decide to kneel as the national anthem was given, I felt sick. That flag represents the vast number of Americans who have sacrificed their lives for our nation. It is about their blood and the sacrifice of many thousands.”
The artist wants his painting to challenge the current generation.
“If we do not respect the flag enough to fight for what it stands for – liberty, justice, and strength – then we will be the weakest generation.”