The former executive director of the Allegheny County Democratic Party in Pennsylvania says he was forced out because of an old Facebook post that showed a picture of him and his wife with the words, “I stand for the flag, I kneel at the cross.”
But he says he has no regrets.
“I’m not ashamed of my patriotism, not one bit. I fought for this country. I think I have a right to have a voice and be patriotic,” the former executive director, Mark Salvas, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
Salvas is a veteran of the Gulf War.
“I was asked by the chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Party to resign my position due to the controversy that was taking place on social media, and I did,” Salvas told KDKA. “It’s never easy when people you have never met accuse you of things and call you names, and you’ve never met them.”
He posted the comments on Facebook in part as a reaction to the NFL keeling controversy. Players, he said, should be able to kneel.
“That’s part of what the flag stands for. It gives them the right to do that,” Salvas said.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Ed Gainey said Salvas’ post offended many Democrats.
“To put that up on Facebook was, to me, insensitive, also to African Americans, who, as you know, have backed the Democratic Party for quite a long time, and everybody knows that it was insensitive,” Gainey told KDKA. “If you’re going to be executive director of the Democratic Party, you have to be sensitive to things like that.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: JP Valery/Unsplash
Video courtesy: KDKA CBS Pittsburg