Black Lives Matter Utah leader stands by American flag comments

Jul 8, 2021, 5:54 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2021, 9:27 am
black lives matter utah leader lex scott calls american flag a hate symbol...
Lex Scott, Black Lives Matter Utah founder, leads a chant during a Black Lives Matter protest in front of the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 16, 2021. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The leader of a Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter first pledged to take down the group’s Facebook page, after receiving extensive backlash over comments that described the American flag as a “symbol of hatred,” before later leaving it up with new posts and controls on who can comment there. 

And despite the backlash, she stands by what she wrote.

Black Lives Matter Utah leader: Flag is symbol of hatred

Lex Scott, who leads the Black Lives Matter Utah chapter, shared a post on July 4 calling the flag a symbol of hatred and describing those who fly the flag as racist. The chapter is not affiliated with the national Black Lives Matter organization. 

“When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around,” the Facebook post stated. “When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist. When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different American than we do. When we see this flag, we question your intelligence. We know to avoid you. It is a symbol of hatred.” 

The post went viral, drawing uproar and attention from all over the country. 

Scott told KSL NewsRadio people need to understand her perspective. 

“Every interaction that I have had with a racist, they are holding an American flag. What would you think if you were me?” she said on Tuesday.

“Ask themselves if they truly care about the American flag, why have they never spoken up about hate groups using it as a hate symbol?” she continued.

Backlash from conservative groups, officials 

Scott said she began receiving hundreds of calls, online comments and messages after national outlets, including Fox News, picked up the story about her post. 

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, who is the only person of color to represent Utah in Congress, released a statement Thursday criticizing Scott’s position. 

“According to BLM Utah, flying the American flag is now racist and hateful,” Owens wrote. “What an insult to those who have fought, served, and died for our freedoms.” 

Jason Chaffetz, a Republican, a former Utah congressman and a contributor to Fox News, tweeted a link to the network’s coverage on the issue critical of Scott.

“Disgusting, more divisive, and flat out wrong,” Chaffetz wrote Thursday.

“We receive hate messages daily” 

Later in the day Thursday, Scott posted more about her feelings and said it would be “our last statement about this matter.” 

“I stand by my words,” Scott wrote. “You show up for a protest and hundreds of armed white men show up. They have guns, they yell racial slurs at you, they are carrying and wearing American flags. I run over 50 Facebook groups. We receive hate messages daily. When you click on the profiles of the people sending these messages their profiles are filled with American Flags.” 

She brought up other examples of hate groups carrying American flags, as well as rioters who assaulted the US Capitol on January 6. 

“I feel fear. That is not up for debate. I feel like the person flying it is racist, because every racist that I have come in contact with is either wearing that flag or flying that flag,” she continued. “If you truly loved that symbol, if you did not believe that it stood for racism, then why no outrage when it is used in this way.” 

Reaction from other groups

Not all Black Utahns agree with the opinion. Other Black Lives Matter groups in the state distanced themselves from the comments.

“My grandparents are veterans, my father is a veteran, so when she says stuff like that about the American flag — we live in America, not in any other country. What she says is not the end all be all,” said Jacarri Kelley with the Northern Utah Black Lives Matter chapter in an interview with KSL NewsRadio.

“The American Flag, do I think it’s racist? No. Do I think its past has very racist tendencies? Yes. We all do,” Kelley said.  

Some of Black Lives Matter Utah’s own chapter members posted comments taking issue with Scott’s stance on the flag as well. 

Today’s Top Stories


buffalo shooter...
Becky Bruce and Mark Jones

Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

Shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict, says John Huber, former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Utah.
20 hours ago
A southern Utah teenager died over the weekend at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Kanab after t...
Mark Jones

Southern Utah teenager dies in digging accident state park in Kanab

A southern Utah teenager was killed Saturday at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park when the sand dune he was digging in collapsed on top of him.
20 hours ago
crews work to contain the left fork fire...
Samantha Herrera

Left Fork fire management left to local units

The Left Fork fire in Dixie National Park had crews working to contain it for days. Crews faced red flag fire warnings during their efforts.
20 hours ago
children at work Utah...
Curt Gresseth

In some instances, children as young as age 10 can work in Utah

Children as young as 10 are legally allowed to work in Utah. A spokesman for the Utah Labor Commission shares the rules for child workers in the state.
20 hours ago
SLCPD police car. Its SWAT team responded to a situation today....
Samantha Herrera

Man found dead from self-inflicted wound following SWAT situation

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department’s SWAT Team discovered a suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a reported sexual assault. The area surrounding a Salt Lake home was locked down by the SLCPD for a period on Monday afternoon as the SWAT team investigated. There is a large police […]
20 hours ago
The Vivint Arena...
Chandler Holt

Kendrick Lamar, Carrie Underwood, Gorillaz all coming to Utah

Three famous artists will be making stops in Utah on their 2022 tours. All three will be performing at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Black Lives Matter Utah leader stands by American flag comments