Local Flag Day rallies show political divide in Oneida County

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y.-- While Flag Day ceremonies honor Old Glory, the increasingly tense political climate is causing a divide in what the stars and stripes represent to local voters.

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 10:35 PM

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y.-- While annual Flag Day ceremonies honor Old Glory, the increasingly tense political climate is causing a divide in what the stars and stripes represent to local voters.

On Thursday, two different rallies took place in Oneida County, each under the same flag.

However, the messages espoused were polar opposites.

In Rome, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside Fort Stanwix to celebrate both the American Flag and the commander in chief's birthday.

"He's going for a strong nation, strong borders, and trying to make a firm stand and that's what I believe in," John F. Boss, a veteran and rally participant said. "I try to talk to people about making an educated vote, making a vote that's going to be good for America, not just for what my interests are, but what's good for America on the broad spectrum."

"Today, America's values are being completely treaded upon by people that, they believe they're Americans but they're not," David Althouse, another Pro-Trump marcher said. "They are acting completely un-American. Every right that we have is being chiseled away little by little."

In Utica, a protest lined the roundabout at Oneida Square. The 'Families Belong Together' demonstration was critical of the White House's "zero tolerance" policy regarding immigration. Their concern is that children of immigrants seeking asylum are being separated from their parents.

"Our American values are family values, where children are with their families, where people can expect decent, humane treatment and safety from the government," Jen DeWeerth, a protestor said.

"I don't really care if it's illegally or if it's seeking asylum, you don't treat people like rats," Kelli Samson, another protestor said. "He doesn't have a heart and if he doesn't have one now, he's not going to have one."

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