TUSCON, Ariz. (Christian Examiner) -- At least one Air Force base now allows residents to fly gay pride American flags while prohibiting Christian flags, a retired Air Force airman alleges.
Retired Senior Airman Brian Kolfage said he was driving through Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., earlier this year when he saw an American flag with rainbow stripes flying prominently on a two-story house on the base. The base is home to the 355th Fighter Wing.
"Everyone is free to express their sexual preferences in the Military in any way they want, but this flag flying on a military base is in violation of Title 4 of the U.S. Code," Kolfage wrote in an opinion piece at TheBlaze.com. He also discussed the incident at his blog, BrianKolfage.com.
Title 4, Section 1 of the code reads: "The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be fifty stars, white in a blue field."
Kolfage continued, "The flag I saw is a parody of the American Flag with 50 white stars in the union, smeared with the rainbow colors as the stripes. The moment the flag took on the union stars is where it becomes a violation, with my understanding of the U.S. Code."
Kolfage contacted the 355th Fighter Wing's public affairs office and said he received the following reply: "We are currently reviewing this issue and have taken no action at this time. We take seriously our responsibility to abide by federal law and defend the Constitutional rights of all citizens."
Three days later, he said he received a final ruling from the office: "The installation commander carefully considered the opinions of legal professionals and the law. The display in question is not an altered U.S. flag; therefore, its display does not violate federal law. No action will be taken."
The ruling, Kolfage wrote, is outrageous, particularly when the military prohibits most other types of flags, including the Christian flag.
"It's sad when someone who has gone to war and faced combat cannot display a Christian flag or even a Gadsden flag because it may be offensive," he wrote. "However, a flag that is in violation of the U.S. Code that mandates base regulations and policy is allowed?!"
Kolfage posted a story about the controversy on social media and says he was contacted by "hundreds of active duty Airmen" thanking him for his stance.
One of them wrote to him, saying he was "saddened that leadership tiptoes over moral and ethical decision making in an effort to please the minority, or to not ruffle any feathers. Where is the line to be drawn?" Kolfage kept the identity of the person – an active duty Air Force master sergeant – private to protect the person.
"I cannot fly a Christian flag," the unidentified master sergeant wrote. "I cannot have a 'Christmas' party at work. It has to be a 'holiday' party. The point of this message isn't anti-gay. It's a fundamental shift of loyalty and allegiance. It is a political statement. I cannot publicly endorse a candidate for office while in uniform, but I can openly tell the world that I am LGBT. If they are proud of the leaps and bounds that the [Department of Defense] has made with the repeal of "don't ask don't tell," then put up a rainbow flag and call it a day. But when you add the Union, it becomes a political statement. And that, my fellow Americans, is unacceptable."
Kolfage is incredulous that Air Force officials are arguing the flag is not an "altered American flag."
"Even a simple Google search reveals what we already knew," he wrote. "The flags are sold as 'Gay Lesbian American Flags.' There you have it, let's call a spade a spade and cut out the political correctness. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the stars are perfectly laid out per the standard proportions for the U.S. Flag design guidelines. Furthermore, the stars are the same color with the same background. Are you really saying this is 'not an altered U.S. flag?' You can't be serious!"
Kolfage served in Operation Iraqi Freedom when in 2004, he was struck by a large artillery round which severed his legs and his right hand. He was awarded a Purple Heart and in 2014 graduated from the University of Arizona's School of Architecture. He and his wife regularly visit and encourage wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center.