Connecticut Democratic official seen taking a knee during the 'Pledge of Allegiance' in video
The Democrat, Selectwoman Melissa Schlag, was captured during the Pledge of Allegiance on July 16, right before the start of a Board of Selectman meeting
A locally-elected Democrat from Connecticut who was filmed taking a knee during the Pledge of Alliance in protest of President Donald Trump has caused a stir with her constituency.
The Democrat, Selectwoman Melissa Schlag, was captured kneeling in silence during the Pledge of Allegiance on July 16, right before the start of a Board of Selectman meeting, according to reports.
Schalg said she did it after Trump's comments about his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month. The President deemed the meeting with the Russian leader "a success." However, the summit faced bipartisan criticism back home.
Reports state that the municipal board member for Haddam in Connecticut said that Schlag, after some hesitation, said she believed what she was doing was right.
The lawmaker, while talking to The Hartford Courant, said: "I felt nervous when I did it but I also felt powerful. If I don't speak up, those who can't won't be heard."
Schlag said that she had expected some backlash after her demonstration, however, she insisted that she was just following the strength of her convictions. "I didn't kneel because I hated my country," Schlag told the Courant. "I knelt because I love my country."
Schalg's protest, however, has drawn ire from her small town of 7,200 as some residents called her actions disrespectful and inappropriate, according to reports.
A 56-year-old welder, Ken Pellegrin, said: "Disgusting if you ask me. That's our flag. It's disrespecting our whole country and that's not OK," the Daily Mail reported.
However, there were some residents who supported Schalg's protest. Local business owner Bill Reinwald said that Schalg's right as an American justifies her demonstration against the President's rhetoric.
"If Trump's behavior were better that would be one thing. All this stuff with Putin especially. I support the flag," Reinwald said, "But people have a right to do what they want."
Multiple Republican officials in the state have also spoken out against the Democratic lawmaker, seeking her resignation.
A Republican gubernatorial candidate, Tim Herbst, from Trumbull, Connecticut, during his appearance on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, said: "She needs to resign immediately."
"One of the things the flag stands for—it stands for our freedom, it stands for our democracy. It stands for the fundamental ideal that we can have differences of opinion, but we all stand in respect of our flag because many people, including my 93-year-old grandfather who's a veteran, fought in defense of the very liberty that the flag resembles," Herbst said.