Richard Brookfield and Tracy Thompson developed an American flag app for Facebook to celebrate the 4th of July. Unfortunately for them, their patriotic intentions were subverted by a conservative news outlet to protest gay marriage.
After the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing gay marriage in all 50 states, Facebook released an app for people to overlay a rainbow flag onto their profile picture. According to the Huffington Post, it was a huge hit, with 26 million people changing their pictures. The app itself even received over half a billion likes.
The people at Right Wing News, however, started looking for a way to counter the gay marriage celebration.
That’s where Brookfield’s American flag app came in.
Local News 10 reports that Brookfield’s app started to take off immediately. He explained that as soon as it left his friend’s circle, the downloads went from a “thousand to 4 or 5,000 thousand an hour.”
Two days later, there was a backlash. Right Wing News made their own American flag app. The one created by Brookfield and his friend was designed solely to show patriotism on the 4th of July, but the conservative news site’s identical app had a different intention.
— Brandon Davis (@Pim_Pen) June 30, 2015
As Brookfield explained, “[T]hey created what they called the anti-pride app and the idea is that they wanted people to overlay the flag in an effort to combat the rainbow overlays.”
Now the software developer is trying to reclaim the American flag for patriotism, instead of allowing the idea to be associated with the debate over gay marriage. He says he has no affiliation with Right Wing News, and his app is designed to promote Independence Day, the 4th of July, and nothing else.
“While we’re really excited – it’s also kind of a shame that it has to come under that light.”
Graphic designer Oleg Chulakov in Russia also tried to beat back the rainbow surge by promoting an overlay of the Russian flag as a similar counter. Some Russian lawmakers just wanted Facebook censored.
In any case, Brookfield explained he’s still not dissuaded from making overlay apps.
“We definitely see a like for overlays for a lot of other things like different seasons… different countries… for the Olympics and things like that. We get a lot of requests for various things just like that so I think the idea is to kind of expand on it.”
As for the American flag app, the developer’s intentions still seem muddled even on the 4th of July.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]