In case anyone didn’t know, the Trumps are in Florida.
Ivanka and Tiffany Trump wished everyone a "Merry Christmas" from the beach — and given that an arctic cold outbreak is hitting many parts of the U.S., their R&R in the Sunshine State seems to be well-planned.
— Tiffany Ariana Trump (@TiffanyATrump) December 26, 2017
On the same day, Ivanka posted photos on Instagram and Twitter of a fishing trip with her husband, Jared Kushner, and son. One of these photos shows another boat (over Kushner’s left shoulder), and on that boat, a Confederate flag. (This, unlike their getaway from the cold, proves to be not well-planned.)
To any kid, this fish is a trophy! 🐟 🎣 🏆 pic.twitter.com/wSpMZ0aFkQ— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) December 26, 2017
Jared Kushner goes fishing, Ivanka Trump posts 4 photos of it, and oddly enough there's a Confederate battle flag in the background of one. What are the odds? pic.twitter.com/MDirVKl6sV— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) December 28, 2017
The flag — seemingly far away but still in frame — was quickly noticed and caused controversy.
Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics under Obama, was among those who criticized the photo. He tweeted: "Confederate flag over Jared’s shoulder. Couldn’t find four photos without one? Or is this a dogwhistle?"
Confederate flag over Jared's shoulder. Couldn't find four photos without one? Or is this a dogwhistle?— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) December 26, 2017
Some went so far as to suggest that the Trumps have a Confederate flag of their own:
They simply don't notice that flag because they're so used to it. Maybe they have one at home.— L. Dub™ 🇺🇸❤🦋❄️🦅 (@laurawilde100) December 28, 2017
The president has defended Confederate monuments in the past when activists fought for their removal. He called their protests an act "to take away our culture."
Trump came under fire in the wake of Charlottesville violence earlier this year between white supremacist protesters and counter-protestors over the removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's statue.
Many were injured and a counter-protestor was fatally run over by a car whose driver identified as a white supremacist, and Trump proclaimed that he was blaming both sides. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides ― on many sides," he told reporters.
Despite her father's stance, Ivanka was less-than-neutral, tweeting: "There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis."
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
Still, some argued that Ivanka purposely took a picture of the flag in contradiction to these views. There were those, however, who shot back against this claim.
As if Ivanka Trump strategically placed a confederate flag on that boat and ordered it to sit perfectly positioned in the background for her picture 😂 https://t.co/c4DcK2VmK8— Emily Rose (@reaganblonde) December 27, 2017
Others called the criticism of Ivanka "desperate" and uncalled for.
Way to try to divide America even further by LITERALLY fishing for controversy. Desperate much?— Joshua Paul Hawkins (@jphawkins1047) December 28, 2017
Ivanka Trump posted a photo of her husband and son on a boat— 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸Joey 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@TheDellcomputer) December 29, 2017
and in the background was a completely unrelated boat with a confederate flag flying
and people got mad and blamed it on Trump
Oof, Liberal Twitter in a nutshell
Or simply didn't think it was worth arguing over.
"It's a free country and if the people on that boat wish to fly that flag, it's their prerogative, whether or not we agree," one woman wrote. "What a sorry existence to have to zoom in on a sweet photo just to find something to hate on them about. It's truly sickening."
It's a free country and if the people on that boat wish to fly that flag, it's their prerogative, whether or not we agree. What a sorry existence to have to zoom in on a sweet photo just to find something to hate on them about. It's truly sickening.— Jill (@jilltrotter) December 28, 2017
In the spirit of the New Year, here's to hoping the next vacation snapshot is controversy-free.