Since the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests swept across the planet in the wake of George Floyd's death, Donald Trump has been doing his utmost to protect problematic symbols from US history, mostly statues of generals from the Civil War and the Confederate flag.
Although Trump has avoided any direct references to the confederacy but vowed to protect monuments to American history, evening signing an executive order which vows to keep the landmarks from being targetted by 'anarchists' and promises to hand anyone that does so 'long prison time.' He also said that he will be creating a 'National Garden of American Heroes' in the next few years.
Recently he said that the controversial Confederate flag, which is synonymous with the confederate forces of the south in the Civil War who wanted to preserve slavery, was 'freedom of speech' after the motorsport Nascar, decided to remove the flag, after their only Black driver, Bubba Wallace, was believed to have been the victim of a hate crime.
Nascar can do whatever they want and they’ve chosen to go a certain way and other people chose to go a different route. But it’s freedom of speech.
However, just five years ago, Trump's opinion on the subject was a lot different.
Speaking on 23 June, 2015, the month he launched his 2016 campaign, Trump was asked for his opinions on the flag, after nine members of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina were killed in a racially provoked massacre just a week prior.
In complete contrast to the stance that the president has taken in 2020, he said:
I think they should put it in the museum and let it go. Respect whatever it is you have to respect, because it was a point in time, and put it in a museum. But I would take it down. Yes.
It's startling to see Trump talk like this; in a clear, measured and considered way. It's almost as if he was a politician before he actually became a politician.
The Trump of 2020 might have forgotten about this but the sleuths on Twitter did not and it is being shared far and wide once again.
Trump on the confederate flag at SC statehouse in 2015: “let it go.” Trump on confederate flag at nascar events in… https://t.co/f2aVE68Zca