Justice Samuel Alito, Inverted Flags, Rabid, Rightwing Dissent and the Alarming and Disturbing Force of Unhinged Christian Nationalism!

Elwood Watson, Ph.D.
The Polis
Published in
4 min readMay 28, 2024

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Right-wing politicians have made no secret of their disdain for the rule of law as well as our current state of democracy. One of the more blatant acts of far-right hostility to our current government was an inverted American flag for the Capitol insurrection hung by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in the days after January 6, 2021. People are still discussing the fallout from the incident. Alito responded by stating that his wife hung the flag in this position after a contentious dispute with a neighbor. Such a response garnered more than a few side-eyes and outright eye rolls.

Interestingly, it appears that flag raising seems to be an Alito pastime because he hung another “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his New Jersey beach home in addition to the one at his Washington, DC residence. The hanging of the second flag is even more ominous and disturbing because of its close association and identification with both far-right Christian nationalists and the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6.

Initially a Revolutionary War banner, the flag features philosopher John Locke’s motto in his Second Treatise on Government, in which he used it to describe the right of revolution. However…

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Elwood Watson, Ph.D.
The Polis

Historian, Syndicated Columnist, Public Speaker, Social-Cultural Critic. Professor of Black Studies and Gender Studies, at East Tennessee State University.