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Actor Chris Pratt labeled ‘white supremacist’ for wearing Gadsden flag shirt

The Gadsden and American flags. (Shal Farley/Flickr)
July 17, 2019

Actor Chris Pratt wore a T-shirt featuring the Gadsden flag, and Yahoo Movies UK labeled him a “white supremacist.”

In a July 16 article, which Yahoo Movies UK originally titled “Chris Pratt criticized for ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt” but now changed to “Chris Pratt criticized for T-shirt choice,” Yahoo said Pratt’s shirt featured a “controversial symbol” adopted by the Tea Party and “gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.”

Pratt, who is known for his roles in movies such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers” and “Jurassic World,” wore a shirt featuring the Gadsden flag rattlesnake and phrase “Don’t tread on me” imposed over the American flag, which can be seen here:

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Yahoo Movies UK seemed to lean in to its own characterization of the Gadsden shirt, tweeting on Wednesday afternoon, “The shirt features an image adopted by a Far Right political party.”

The Gadsden flag is a yellow flag that features a coiled rattlesnake along with the phrase, “Don’t Tread on Me.” The historical flag is named for Gen. Christopher Gadsden. Gadsden designed the flag during the American Revolution in 1775, and it is seen as a symbol of American patriotism.

The U.S. Navy has always used a similar flag, the First Navy Jack, which is a flag of 13 horizontal red and white stripes and a rattlesnake, again with the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me.”

In its article, Yahoo said that, “Although it is one of the symbols and flags used by the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, Metallica, as well as some libertarian groups, over the years the flag has been adopted by Far Right political groups like the Tea Party, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment. It has therefore become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals and, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the U.S., it also is ‘sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.'”

Many sounded off on Yahoo’s characterization of the Gadsden and criticized the report for labeling Pratt a “white supremacist.”

“This is pure idiocy,” tweeted Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of the Daily Wire. “Not every symbol of the early republic is a white supremacist symbol, unless you are a moron.”