Politics & Government

Red Star Over Olympia: Chinese flag marks ambassador’s visit

Is it Red Dawn at the Capitol?

You’d think so from the furor in some corners of the blogosphere over a Chinese flag flying beside the Legislative Building.

A slew of national conservative websites and blogs railed against Gov. Jay Inslee for flying the flag Friday and claimed that activists tore it down. The Fox News headline: “Patriots Take Down Chinese Flag at WA Capitol.”

Inslee’s office says it’s common protocol for flags of foreign countries to go up when dignitaries from those countries visit. The Democratic governor met Friday morning with a Chinese delegation that included the country’s ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai.

The governor’s office, which didn’t publicize the visit ahead of time, said the two men were scheduled to talk about trade, foreign direct investment and ongoing educational and cultural exchanges.

China may be run by a repressive regime, but it’s also Washington’s largest trading partner.

The flag was taken down Saturday because the delegation had left, Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith said – by state government, not by activists.

On Monday the flag of Scotland was flying in observance of Tartan Day.