Meeting with children is a classic activity for politicians, and one that probably seems like it couldn’t go wrong.
But when Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, shared a picture of President Trump colouring with children from Ohio, plenty of people were quick to criticise the president over the photo.
The image, which has since gone viral, shows that Trump had coloured a blue stripe onto the American flag – which is famous for it’s red and white stripes.
The opioid crisis is one of our top priorities at HHS, with a drumbeat of action on the full range of efforts where we can assist local communities. Today, I joined @POTUS & @FLOTUS in Ohio to learn how states and communities are responding to the challenge of opioid addiction. pic.twitter.com/NwxSoeNznA
— Alex Azar (@SecAzar) August 25, 2018
The photo started gaining more attention when another Twitter user shared it with a zoom-in on the misplaced blue stripe.
“The President has colored his flag wrong. That is all,” the Twitter user, Talia, wrote.
The President has colored his flag wrong.
That is all. pic.twitter.com/wWXBgR9I6V
— Talia (@2020fight) August 25, 2018
As Mr Azar wrote in his tweet, Trump and first lady Melania Trump were in Ohio to talk about opioid addiction with affected communities.
The president’s visit with children took place at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, CNN reported. But the conversation around opioid addiction doesn’t seem to be what most people took away from the visit.
After the photo began making the rounds, Twitter users started joking about why Trump might have drawn a blue stripe onto the flag.
A number of people suggested that Trump was thinking of the Russian flag, which does feature a blue stripe.
He’s just getting it confused with his flag. pic.twitter.com/j1J1qTTmkO
— Christina (@christinavotes) August 25, 2018
Others suggested President Trump meant to honor the police with his colouring choice.
Good job media. Hurr-durr Trump doesn't know what color the flag is. Well, what it's meant to represent is the "thin blue line" between chaos and order, also known as the police. They're far from perfect but so is society. God forbid we have a pro-police president. pic.twitter.com/Bq5tpq46zk
— Jack Hammer (@Cleggermeister) August 25, 2018
Then this is why. He supports cops. Simple. pic.twitter.com/RKl2iKxXK7
— RobertTrader (@WethepeopleT) August 26, 2018
But not everyone believed that theory. As some pointed out, Trump also coloured in a red stripe, which isn’t featured on the police flag. He had also coloured the blue stripe on the wrong line.
Not surprisingly, many people thought Trump’s apparent mistake was hypocritical, considering his criticism of football players who’ve kneeled during the national anthem.
The movement, started by Colin Kaepernick, is about protesting police brutality.
For his part, Trump hasn’t addressed his colouring controversy on Twitter. He did post several tweets about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails on Saturday, and then on Monday tweeted about his popularity while also claiming “Fake News Media” trying to make him look “as evil as possible”.
Over 90% approval rating for your all time favorite (I hope) President within the Republican Party and 52% overall. This despite all of the made up stories by the Fake News Media trying endlessly to make me look as bad and evil as possible. Look at the real villains please!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018