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Where did the connection between flags and identity come from?

An Arizona Senate committee later Wednesday morning is expected to  consider a bill that would require HOAs to allow homeowners to fly the “An Appeal to Heaven” flag. State law already requires HOA’s to allow residents to fly certain flags, including the Gadsden flag, service branch flags, first responder flags, the Arizona state flag and any historic version of the American flag, among others.

The “An Appeal to Heaven” flag features a pine tree against a white backdrop, with the words “An Appeal to Heaven”  above the tree. The flag dates back to the American Revolution, but in recent years has been adopted as a symbol of Christian nationalism.

But how do flags that were designed for one cause come to be associated with another?

To find out, The Show spoke with Leslie Hahner, a professor at Baylor University, where she studies the rhetoric of symbols and symbolism. The conversation started with the role flags generally play in terms of people identifying who they are and what they stand for.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.