Despite the impending danger as troops leave Afghanistan, one servicemember made sure that the American flag from the U.S. Embassy made it back home with them. While the C-17 military plane departed from the tarmac in Kabul, Afghanistan, the troop member held tightly to the neatly folded flag. Fox News released the photo earlier today, August 16th, on Instagram.
“SHOCK AND AWFUL: Moment American flag is saved from Taliban terror group’s destruction captured in heartbreaking photo,” the news source wrote in the caption.
The new photo of the servicemember and American flag comes after the release of a viral video that showed Afghan citizens entering the Embassy’s runway, some clinging onto the sides of the C-17. Some individuals even held on as the plane lifted into the air. Meanwhile, similar responses occurred in the nation’s actual airport. Several photos and videos showed individuals fighting to gain access to commercial planes through the terminal and runways.
On Sunday, the Taliban took back control of Kabul and the entire nation. That same day, Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled the country. Taliban fighters are currently in the presidential palace.
Social Media Users Compare American Flag Photo to Recent Athlete Protests
Flashback to just two weeks ago when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was just nearing its end. At the time, the most notable photos with the American flag were also the ones that showed athletes in protest. The most notable figure that voiced her concerns regarding the nation’s social climate was Gwen Berry. While Berry didn’t come home with any medals from this year’s games, the hammer thrower still made lots of headlines with her protests during the National Anthem and medal ceremonies.
During the games, Berry stated that the protests were in support of those that faced racial injustice in the United States. So, by turning away from the American flag, the Olympic athlete sought to bring attention to the issues she advocated against. Whether supportive or reprimanding of her actions, Berry was the hot topic of just about every news source and social media platform.
Now, in light of the recent photo from the U.S. Embassy plane, social media users are quick to make the comparison between the vastly different actions regarding the American flag. Some believed that the action to be “brave” while others argued the risk wasn’t worth bringing the flag home.
“This is why we stand for the national anthem!” one Instagram user wrote.
“fought for the right to decide,” wrote another.
The quips on social media over the servicemember’s actions are further proof of the division the country faces regarding President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.