House Speaker Mike Johnson has three flags hanging outside his office: the American flag, the Louisiana state flag, and a flag representing a movement that wants to turn the United States into a religious Christian nation.
Normal stuff, you know?
The flag is white with a green evergreen tree in the middle and the phrase “An Appeal to Heaven” at the top. A report published Friday by Rolling Stone confirmed that the flag is outside his district office in Washington.
The flag was originally used as a banner during the Revolutionary War, but over the past decade, it has been embraced by a sect of Christianity called the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR. A central tenet of NAR’s belief system is that it is God’s will for Christians to take control of all aspects of U.S. society—including education, arts and entertainment, the media, and businesses—to create a religious nation.
The NAR fully embraced Donald Trump when he announced he was running for office, endorsing him early on and helping endear him to other Christian movements. As a result, the Appeal to Heaven flag has become popular among Trump supporters.
The flag has appeared in photos of far-right politicians and election deniers such as Doug Mastriano, the Trump-endorsed candidate for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro.
The flag was also everywhere at the January 6 insurrection. Rolling Stone estimated that there may have been hundreds of Appeal to Heaven flags throughout the mob.
It should not be surprising that Johnson subscribes to the NAR belief system. He has a well-documented history of opposing abortion access, LGBTQ rights, and environmental policy on the grounds that they are non-Christian.
But it’s upsetting and deeply concerning that he is able to embrace it so openly without so much as a slap on the wrist. What’s more, Rolling Stone’s revelation comes just days after the House of Representatives censured Rashida Tlaib for her comments about Israel and Palestine.
Republicans have previously harangued Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress, for flying a Palestinian flag outside her district office. The GOP has accused her of antisemitism for showing pride in her nationality.
But even if supporting Palestinian civilians were inherently antisemitic (it’s not), it’s unclear how that is different from what Johnson is doing. The creation of a Christian nation implies the elimination of all other religions. But somehow, no one is censuring Johnson for it.