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Couple says soccer stadium officials demanded they take down their Betsy Ross flag during game because it had become a symbol for hate groups
Image soure: KSTU-TV video screenshot

Couple says soccer stadium officials demanded they take down their Betsy Ross flag during game because it had become a symbol for hate groups

Is that how this works now?

Utah couple Randolf and Diana Scott say that a local soccer stadium threatened to eject them from the stadium if they didn't put away their Betsy Ross American flag.

What are the details?

The Scotts visited the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, for a Real Salt Lake soccer game recently, and brought their patriotic flag with them.

Stadium officials, according to the couple, were less than pleased with the flag and demanded they put it away or be made to leave the stadium. The staff insisted that the flag was a "symbol for hate groups," and had been the subject of myriad complaints from fellow fans.

The Scotts, who are season ticket holders, regularly dress up with patriotic-themed garb and hairstyles, and typically wave American flags at the events.

Randolf told KSTU-TV that his wife had purchased the Betsy Ross flag because his old flag was falling apart.

"Diana bought it for me, actually, because my other flag was kind of old and falling apart," he explained.

Diana said, "They kept telling us if he wasn't going to take [the flag] down, we were going to be rejected from the game."

The Scotts initially refused to take down the flag, but eventually complied so as to avoid ejection.

"[A staff member] asked me, he's like, 'So what's the purpose of the flag?'" Randolf recalled. He responded that he flies the flag because he and his wife "love America."

"When people see me or Diana with this flag, I hope they can understand that it's about the freedoms we have here in America," he explained. "The legacy that America has."

What did the team say?

In a statement, the Real Salt Lake soccer club said that it did not want the Betsy Ross flag flying at the stadium because of its concerning history and application to current culture.

"At Real Salt Lake, it is our mission to unify our community through soccer and we promote inclusion, diversity and acceptance. It is important that everyone in the community not only feel welcome at our stadiums, but appreciated, respected and valued," the statement began. "Rio Tinto Stadium is reflective of that on match day and we encourage a unifying and welcoming environment to all fans at all of our RSL and Utah Royals FC matches."

"To be permitted to bring a flag into any of our stadiums is a privilege," the statement continued. "Recently, and very controversially as well as surprising to us, the Colonial flag has been adopted as a symbol for hate groups. Any controversial flags or other similar banners or signs with symbols of hatred, divisiveness and/or intolerance whether intentional or otherwise will not be permitted in our stadiums. Period."

The Betsy Ross flag stirred up much controversy in July.

Activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick publicly complained about the design, which resulted in Nike nixing the July 4-themed sneaker because it featured the Betsy Ross flag.

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