Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump vacation photo causes controversy. Photo: Twitter/Getty Images

In case anyone didn’t know, the Trumps are in Florida. 

 

The president announced his massive tax cut right before he left for Mar-a-Lago, and he was spotted at his golf course the day after Christmas (and the day after that).

 

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.

 

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.)

 

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?"

Some went so far as to suggest that the Trumps have a Confederate flag of their own:

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."

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.

Others called the criticism of Ivanka "desperate" and uncalled for.

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."

In the spirit of the New Year, here's to hoping the next vacation snapshot is controversy-free.