(Photo courtesy of Indivisible Kentucky)
The sight of a large blue-and-white Trump flag perched atop the lead vehicle in a military convoy was a shocking sight for some Kentucky drivers on the final weekend in January.
Video and photos of the vehicle spread rapidly online, prompting Navy officials to open an investigation after they confirmed that the convoy was from a special warfare unit from Virginia Beach.
Nearly a month later, the Navy has announced that the investigation is over and that “corrective measures” have been doled out to select members of the unit.
Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said in a statement to The Washington Post that punitive actions were taken but declined to comment on the precise nature of the punishment or how many individuals were affected.
“The inquiry was completed between the unit’s commanders and service members,” Maxwell’s statement said. “It has been determined that those service members have violated the spirit and intent of applicable DoD regulations concerning the flying of flags and the apparent endorsement of political activities. Administrative corrective measures were taken with each individual based on their respective responsibility.”Though images of the controversial display were largely condemned by government officials, the public reaction was more varied.
For some, seeing military personnel publicly endorsing a political figure exacerbated existing fears about American institutions falling prey to an administration that has been accused of having authoritarian impulses.
For others, the display was nothing more than a playful celebration of American might as the country transitions – peacefully – from one president to the next.
The images provoked strong reactions on both sides of the debate. One of the Facebook videos showing the convoy was viewed tens of thousands of times before it was taken down.