"Well, I would say first, the president certainly values and respects the symbol of the American flag," Psaki said in response to a question during Monday's briefing concerning a New York Times column that represented the flag as separating. "He's someone who certainly waves it outside of his house, or does in Delaware and other places where he's lived throughout his time."
"He also believes that people have the right to peaceful protests, and he thinks both can be true," the chief White House spokeswoman added. Anti-communist protesters, gathering both in Cuba and the United States, revealed the American flag over the weekend.
The unprecedented protests indicated the largest mass displays in modern Cuban history, and Biden said in a statement earlier on Monday that they marked a "clarion call for freedom."
"We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime," Biden wrote in his first remarks on the mass protests. "The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected."
The president of the Utah NAACP chapter became the latest to denounce the controversial stance taken by Black Lives Matter Utah that the American flag is a "symbol of hatred" and anyone who flies it is a racist.
"The NAACP does not agree with that statement and rejects the idea that flying the American flag is a racist message," Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Utah State Conference, said in a prepared statement released late Saturday. "The flag stands for all the people who have lived and served to bring about the best of the American experience, that all people are created equal. Real American patriots have stood for equality and justice for all."
Lex Scott, the founder of the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter, responded shortly afterward.
"The NAACP has done a lot of good work in the past. They do not like me, they do not like us. What they did today was hurtful. They have every right to their opinion. They have not had to be at protests with white supremacists weaponizing the flag against them. They have more white validation than we do. We do not play respectability politics here," Scott posted on Facebook.
Yet Scott also endorsed Williams and the NAACP and said she won't tolerate "white organizations" and the media "pitting Black organizations against each other."