It was one of those moments that felt like it had to be either Photoshopped or straight out of the Onion: a photo was circulating around social media of Donald Trump sitting at a table with young children who were using crayons or markers to color the American flag, and Trump had managed to color the flag completely wrong. It couldn’t be real, could it? As with so many other absurd things in the Trump era, it turned out to be as real as you can get.
The photo in question showed Donald Trump having colored the top stripe of the American flag red, then having skipped to the fourth stripe and colored it blue. Trump had a confused look on is face as he glanced in the direction of another kid at the table who had colored the flag correctly, seemingly hoping to copycat the kid’s work:
So how can we be so sure that this photograph is real? We traced it back to the official verified Twitter account of Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who posted it as part of this photo montage. So yeah, this really happened. Three things stand out here. First, Donald Trump doesn’t appear to have the cognitive ability to know what color the stripes are on the American flag, even though in his current job, he sees it every single day. Second, he came much closer to coloring the stripes of the Russian flag. Third, Melania had no trouble coloring her flag correctly – a reminder that immigrants really are better at being American than Donald Trump is.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report