Chris Pratt's wardrobe landed him in hot water with fans. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers star was spotted sporting a problematic T-shirt, recently tied to white supremacists, according to Newsweek. The controversy began after photos surfaced of Pratt, 40, and wife Katherine Schwarzenegger out and about together earlier this week.
Every 3 months y'all find out Chris Pratt a hardcore republican https://t.co/w5YTZfFrgR— Eric Lauzin (@Lauzin) July 15, 2019
The actor was photographed wearing a shirt with a coiled rattlesnake, the American flag and the words "Don't tread on me." The image is known as the Gadsden flag, which was designed during the American Revolution.
It's named for Christopher Gadsden, according to Cafe Mom, who was a colonel during the American Revolution and a member of the First Continental Congress. The image was meant to symbolize America's willingness to strike at any time in the name of freedom. Gadsen once gifted the flag to Eske Hopkins, a Navy Commander-in-Chief, who sailed it on his ship's first mission. Afterward, navy members began to use the symbol to show their pride and continue to do so to this day.
Since then, the symbol has been associated with the tea party and other right-wing groups and white supremacist organizations. As a result, fans were shocked to see Pratt sporting the symbol. Within hours of the photos surfacing online, fans were calling for the former Parks & Rec star's cancellation.
Nice shirt... Only people I see with that flag are alt-right racists.... pic.twitter.com/0sUfv6Ghki— chomp🌈sky (@chompsky5) July 17, 2019
Imagine my shock waking up today after I literally made a joke yesterday that I’m waiting for a Chris Pratt is a racist scandal.— ⭐️🔥 (@hunnyswamp) July 17, 2019
Not everyone was outraged by Pratt's attire, however. Many fans, including a handful of conservatives, took to Twitter to defend the design. Some noted the historical significance of the symbol, pointing out that it's long been linked to the U.S. navy.
Chris Pratt Smeared as 'White Supremacist' for Wearing Gadsden Flag Shirt https://t.co/d2miMvCAd3— Carl Higbie (@CarlHigbie) July 17, 2019
Love the shirt.
Glad that there are a still a few decent human beings in Hollywood like Chris Pratt.
Otherwise I guess it’d just be an endless sea of sexual abusers, rapists and pedophiles. https://t.co/iMkFRJlyW8— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) July 17, 2019
First the Left was triggered by the National Anthem, then the American flag, then a Betsy Ross flag on a shoe and now, the Gadsden flag on a t-shirt worn by Chris Pratt. How pathetic.— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) July 17, 2019
The actor also got some support from Fox and Friends, a favorite morning news show of the President. The show's hosts showed support for Pratt, calling out politically correct culture as dangerous.
Fox & Friends defends "American icon" Chris Pratt against "bull[ies] ... saying that he's racist" for wearing a Don't Tread On Me shirt: "There is just a group of people in this country that are hellbent on protesting anything patriotic." pic.twitter.com/Ve35Wjr3jf— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) July 17, 2019
Pratt has been open about his religious beliefs and practices, but hasn't spoken much about his political views. This has created some speculation about why he's so quiet about it, with many leaning toward the potential that he's conservative. Much of that speculation is rooted in his religious affiliation. According to Newsweek, Pratt belongs to the Los Angeles church, Zoe, which is affiliated with the Hillsong Church. The latter house of worship has strict anti-LGBTQ stances and has been deemed homophobic by stars like Ellen Page, and even a few former members.
For his part, Pratt hasn't responded to the controversy. He does not often defend himself publicly.