Two men were seen Friday hanging American flags outside of a Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon after weeks of protests there.
Video captured by the Daily Caller show a man in a white shirt and another man in a black shirt hanging up the flags. When a group of onlookers took issue with the flags being hung up, one of the men invited them to come help.
“I think what’s going on is that one of the things that’s getting lost right now is that we’re all American. And patriotism is a very very important thing,” the man who was hanging up flags told the group of protesters. “This flag, not only is the foundation of our country, but it’s the foundation of change. And I think that every night, everything that goes on up and down these streets … people are losing sight of who we are as people, and who we are as Americans.”
The man, who said he was a veteran, then called for everyone to come together.
“Hopefully by putting up these flags and reminding everybody what country we live in … this will actually bring us all together,” he said. “This will bring about change. We all should be patriotic. We all should come together. Come together and help me hang these.”
“I’m a Black man – I’ve grown up my whole life. I’m older than you, I’ve experienced more racism than you,” he continued. “I’m asking you and I’m begging you to please, if you’re patriotic and you love this country, hang a flag.”
One of the protesters told him “I don’t love this country right now, because our people are dying.” When asked how he will bring about change, the protester said, “We have to talk to the higher-ups. We have to honestly start to get this stuff going.”
Protests have been ongoing in Portland since the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, video showed. The six straight weeks of demonstrations, some of which turned violent, have cost the city an estimated $30 million.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deployed federal agents earlier this month to help quell the demonstrations. The man who was hanging flags and talking to the group of onlookers condemned the decision to deploy federal agents, saying it “needs to stop.”