Chris Matthews: Robert Byrd 'Treasured' Gadsden Flag; 'Scared' When Flag Flown at Tea Party
While MSNBC host Chris Matthews has routinely cited the American Revolution-era Gadsden flag as evidence of the extremism of the tea party movement, at the end of Monday's Harball, he expressed his love for the banner while remembering West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. [Audio available here]
In his 'Let Me Finish' segment, Matthews shared his thoughts on Byrd and how he particularly admired how the Democrat shared his "deep American objection to the Iraq War." Matthews placed Byrd in an historic context and spoke of the nation's founding, including one particular symbol of defiance during the Revolution: "I love the symbol of the Gadsden flag that, coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow. 'Don't Tread on Me' - it warned our enemies, and that included especially the British government and London." Matthews then noted: "This morning, a man died who treasured this country and that flag. For those reasons, Senator Robert Byrd opposed both wars - both wars with Iraq."