Why Do So Many White People Want to Bone the American Flag?

Kevin Cox/Getty Images
Kevin Cox/Getty Images

Two weeks ago, Insecure was criticized for airing a scene where the women on the show discussed the sexual and racial politics of blow jobs. Namely, that fellatio was the reason niggas either date white women or marry the few black women willing to give it.

For a show that’s usually—and sometimes painstakingly—relevant, it felt like a conversation from 1995. And by “1995” I mean The Steve Harvey Morning Show. Of course, women (and men) have varying degrees of what they are and aren’t comfortable doing in the bedroom, but blow jobs left the “that’s some white-people shit” station back when Karl Kani still sold jeans with belts in them.

This doesn’t, however, mean that there are no sexual acts that still deserve the “that’s some white-people shit” distinction. Sex at a football stadium parking lot, for instance, is some white-people shit. As is sex in the woods, sex on some tall-ass grass, sex in Montana, sex with a Costco value pack of Daisy Brand cottage cheese and sex with Taye Diggs.


And perhaps the whitest-possible sex act is the deep and passionate and sweaty and sloppy and squirty sex so many white people want to have with the American flag. No one has ever wanted to fuck anyone or anything more than (some) white people want to fuck the flag. Like, remember the face Eddie Murphy made in Boomerang when he slept with Robin Givens the first time? Or better yet, the way Richie in Harlem Nights reacted when he sampled Lela Rochon’s Sunshine?

This is how (some) white people revere and regard the fucking flag. Like it’s literally a flag for fucking.

To wit, as I mentioned yesterday, my wife and I and two of our friends rode the Great Allegheny Passage last week. And as we pedaled past and through the predominantly white towns on the GAP trail, we started seeing more flags than actual people. Flag bumper stickers. Flag sun visors. Flag tattoos. Bakeries selling flag birthday cakes. Diners selling flag pancakes. Which was a little unsettling. Because as any black person will tell you, a town’s level of flagophilia is directly correlated with its level of MAGA.

This need to bone the flag isn’t limited to small-town white people, though. The way some city-slicking white dudes talk about Colin Kaepernick “disrespecting” the flag by just kneeling, you’d think they were firing off those angry tweets while nude in a vat of cantaloupe juice and gently caressing a lubed-up flag nudged between their legs. Or perhaps they learned that Kaepernick was secretly sliding in the flag’s DMs.


Perhaps the American flag has a sex appeal I’m blind to. I mean, it is pretty, with all of those stars and stripes and straight lines and symmetry, and maybe I just need to let it grow on me, too. Maybe the American flag is like the lead character in one of those ’90s teen movies where she takes off her glasses and everyone discovers she’s a supermodel. Maybe, instead of Nicole Beharie or Yaya DaCosta or Simone Missick, I’ll have a dream tonight about the American flag in a really form-fitting denim romper standing in front of me at an omelette station. I want to get to the bottom of this boning!

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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That’s because it’s easier to hide your racism underneath patriotism. There’s this false belief that if I’m a patriot, I can’t possibly be a racist.