- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Know your flag
One becomes aware that war is brewing when so many unfamiliar flags are being waved around Washington.
To better understand what's being hoisted and by whom the patriotic D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com is circulating a color guide of the myriad flags, symbols and messages displayed during recent "antiwar" demonstrations.
First on the list, the yellow and green Hezbollah flag, held up throughout the Middle East and yes, here in Washington by an Iranian-supported terrorist group operating from Lebanon. Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks against civilians, including the 1983 truck bomb in Lebanon that killed 253 Americans, mostly U.S. Marines and embassy staff.
Second, the red, white and black flag of Iraq, ruled since 1979 by a clan-based dictatorship headed by Saddam Hussein. The U.S. government long ago designated Iraq a state sponsor of terrorism, but that hasn't prevented the flag from being carried by protesters in Washington.
Next is the flag of the Palestinian Authority, an organization created by the 1994 Israeli-Palestinian agreement (the Oslo Accords) to exercise governmental authority of Palestinian-populated areas in Israel. The guide observes that certain Palestinian neighborhoods were scenes of public celebrations after the killings of 3,000 Americans and foreign nationals in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia on September 11, 2001.
Still, the red, white and black Palestinian flag is no stranger to Washington. Take April 20, 2002, for instance, when its flag-bearers also saw fit to trample the U.S. flag while demonstrating outside the White House.
The guide's other flags include the yellow and orange International Socialist Organization (ISO) "fist" symbol; the black Nazi swastika (featured prominently at Washington "antiwar" events, often positioned alongside the Star of David, or superimposed onto the U.S. flag or the flag of Israel to create additional anti-Semitic symbols); the black and white A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) acronym flag; the red flag of the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.S.A.; and various other anarchist symbols that are waved by everybody from masked protesters to topless women.
Finally, last but not least, the red, white and blue U.S. flag. A country, according to the guide, "that, while not without fault, remains the greatest, freest nation in the history of the world and a beacon of liberty to all mankind."
By the way, for those having a difficult time spotting the American flag during these "antiwar" protests, the guide observes that their location is often marked by smoke.

Oval Office ally?
Is President Bush more sympathetic than his predecessors on the issue of voting rights for D.C. residents?
It was 202 years ago, where Rhodes Tavern once stood, that this city's residents first protested the denial of full democracy and voting rights in Congress. Residents had enjoyed these rights until 1801, when the final transfer of authority over the District was made to Congress.
Joe Grano, longtime president of the Rhodes Tavern-D.C. Heritage Society, now tells Inside the Beltway that he's a recipient of a personal letter from Mr. Bush, in which the president acknowledges receipt of voting-rights petitions being circulated around Washington.
"He not only acknowledges receipt of the petition, he wrote a brief letter it was not a form letter," says Mr. Grano. "So somebody at the White House is taking this petition seriously. I think in the post-Trent Lott world, Republicans want to pay some attention to cities.
"By the way," adds Mr. Grano, "the president has been the only public official that ever wrote to me concerning the petition, the only one who bothered to take the time, and I think that should be noticed. [D.C. Delegate (and voting-rights activist)] Eleanor Homes Norton didn't write me, [Washington] Mayor Anthony Williams didn't write me only the president of the United States."

Rise in Gold
Victor Gold, a veteran political media specialist and co-author of former President George H.W. Bush's autobiography, "Looking Forward," has joined Shirley & Banister Public Affairs as a senior adviser.
A former newspaperman with the Birmingham, Ala., News, Mr. Gold in 1964 was deputy press secretary of Sen. Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign. Later, he became Vice President Spiro T. Agnew's press secretary and chief speechwriter. Among other books, he co-authored "The Body Politic" in 1988 with Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
Of late, Mr. Gold has been national correspondent for Washingtonian magazine and the American Spectator.

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