Conservatives in the United States like to refer to the liberal Hollywood elite, but some very rich, very powerful stars are on the far-right end of the political spectrum.
Clint Eastwood famously spoke to a chair at the Republican National Convention. Jon Voight filmed a love letter to President Donald Trump that the POTUS pinned on his Twitter account. James Woods quit Twitter over their terms of service after being notified one of his far-right tweets needed to be deleted.
And Chris Pratt wore a symbol closely associated with White nationalist violence on a t-shirt.
The Revolutionary War era Gadsden flag of a rattlesnake with the inscription "Don't Tread On Me" on a yellow field has been adopted by far-right organizations including White supremacist and White nationalist groups. Similar to the Confederate battle flag, the emblem now gets seen most amongst the ultra-White—I mean right—wing ever since the Tea Party coopted it.
Gadsden flag superimposed over Old Glory Giphy
So when Pratt was photographed wearing an updated version of the flag most often seen at White nationalist rallies or places with an abundance of tiki torches...
https://t.co/u9vDDar24G— hunter harris (@hunter harris) 1563222816.0
...people were a bit concerned.
Some people were definitely mad.
Hunter Harris invoked the (unrelated) words of Cher to express their feelings on the matter.
@hunteryharris Chris Evans/Pine/Hemsworth would never.— Ray Lewis (@Ray Lewis) 1563223588.0
@hunteryharris https://t.co/wmGjVI3YLI— richard madden turn me into stone (@richard madden turn me into stone) 1563222949.0
@CCurti29 @maddenthinks @Schlongforto @hunteryharris No, it's a problem when you find out an actor you liked is rig… https://t.co/cnrrNylxcQ— Ignatius, Really. (@Ignatius, Really.) 1563238511.0
Some thought, even though White supremacists have claimed the symbol as their own, people should take it back.
@skroobler @MarbLite @CCurti29 @maddenthinks @Schlongforto @hunteryharris I'm very left leaning but I take issue wi… https://t.co/QNcgHSf3e8— John (@John) 1563304169.0
But how does one do that without looking like you support White nationalism?
@jwlester3 @MarbLite @CCurti29 @maddenthinks @Schlongforto @hunteryharris Wear whatever you like. I didn't allow th… https://t.co/ovDu5O1nHU— Ignatius, Really. (@Ignatius, Really.) 1563304970.0
People demoted Pratt in the Hollywood Chris hierarchy.
@hunteryharris He’s really ruining my Parks & Rec reruns.— Jody M. Caldwell (@Jody M. Caldwell) 1563223336.0
@hunteryharris @certainlydavid Meanwhile... https://t.co/mWhBBGVbYK— Carolyn 🎙🍸 (@Carolyn 🎙🍸) 1563234332.0
@hunteryharris @anildash MAGA Chris has always been the worst Chris.— NYQUILL JORNAN (@NYQUILL JORNAN) 1563238750.0
@CareSaysSo @hunteryharris @certainlydavid I will defend to my dying day the fact that Chris Evans is the superior Chris— violent🔪femme (@violent🔪femme) 1563280520.0
@laurxoonthenet @CareSaysSo @hunteryharris @certainlydavid There is no question whatsoever. Evans is the Chris champion.— Sean Lewis (@Sean Lewis) 1563292107.0
Some people had not gotten the memo though.
@noze_bastrd @hunteryharris @anildash It’s literally a revolt against British king flag— Lol.nu.u (@Lol.nu.u) 1563285728.0
@Lolnuu1 @hunteryharris @anildash Google the Tea Party and get back to me.— NYQUILL JORNAN (@NYQUILL JORNAN) 1563287767.0
@JoshFlashman @Lolnuu1 @hunteryharris @anildash You seem to be projecting quite a bit there, bot. I never mentioned… https://t.co/lUb9dr2CxD— NYQUILL JORNAN (@NYQUILL JORNAN) 1563313518.0
A brief history of the flag denotes the "most common association in modern times is with the Tea Party organization, Ku Klux Klan and Second Amendment enthusiasts."
Self-identified White nationalists used the flag for their activities, including the 2014 murders of a pair of police officers in Las Vegas by a couple that draped their bodies in the Gadsden flag and Swastikas.
People expressed concern over Pratt's career trajectory following in the footsteps of some other Hollywood conservatives.
I like him, but all these small things about his politics makes me wonder when he’ll say something transphobic, tan… https://t.co/XexqzRffMf— Tim Byrnes (@Tim Byrnes) 1563283619.0
Once his Marvel contract is up, Worst Chris is going to be yelling at an empty chair at the RNC in like 15 years. https://t.co/jMsM6fs1gw— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Kayleigh Donaldson) 1563277448.0
Pratt is an avid hunter and gun rights advocate. The Gadsden flag is also associated with the gun rights movement which may be the message Pratt was trying to send.
Or maybe he just liked the shirt and knew nothing about the association with White nationalism. Only Pratt knows and so far he has remained silent.
The book Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, available heree, is "based on a decade of deep immersion in previously classified FBI files and on extensive interviews. Bring the War Home tells the story of American paramilitarism and the birth of the alt-right."