A female country line dance team chose to not perform at the Emerald City Hoedown in Seattle on Saturday. The decision came after learning that their American flag-themed outfits made some audience members feel “triggered and unsafe.”

Borderline Dance Team Issued Statement

On Sunday The Borderline Dance Team decided to speak on the situation in a post on their official Facebook page. The team acknowledged that they spent the previous days before the statement “answering dozens of calls and messages from friends and family.”

Source: Facebook/Borderline Dance Team

Upon arrival, the team was met with convention goers who made it clear that their flag tops were “offensive.” The statement acknowledged that there was a “small group” that felt “triggered and unsafe.” Because of this the dance team unanimously made the decision to leave the event.

Team Was Not Deterred

The team stated that they were originally told that their flag top outfits would cause people to boo at them.They were also told that they may have been yelled at by some attendees.

Source: Unsplash/Charles “Duck” Unitas

There was even the “likely” possibility that “many of them would walk out.” The team addressed the fact that they were aware of these things, however they were not deterred by any of them.

Palestine And The Transgender Community

The team reported receiving several claims supporting attendees feeling “triggered and unsafe.” One claim referenced the “situation in Palestine.”

Source: Unsplash/Craig Whitehead

They were also informed that the transgender community in the United States may take offense to their outfits.

Ultimatum Requiring Removal Of Flag Tops

The team expressed that they were given an ultimatum after they expressed that they would not be deterred by potential boos, yells, and walkouts. The ultimatum required them to “remove the flag tops and perform in either street clothes” or event shirts that they still had at the venue from previous years.

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

A number of dance team members did not bring street clothes with them, in fact most of them arrived at the event wearing their team uniforms. The alternative to that was not to perform at all.

Team Statement

The team stated that they “don’t speak for our team, we speak on behalf of them.” The Facebook post emphasized that “the choice was theirs.”

Source: Facebook/Borderline Dance Team

They continued with “unanimous NO” was not surprising since “there really was no choice in our minds.”

Praised By Independent American Patriots

Lonny Ray Williams, the National Chairman of the Independent American Patriots, expressed his support on Facebook for the team’s decision to take a stand. He stated that he was “proud to see great patriotic women…stand up for principles and values that our nation was founded upon.”

Source: Unsplash/Guillermo Latorre

He said that many of his ancestors “stood and served for our country, our flag, and for people” like the dance team members. He concluded with, “American Patriots stand with wonderful patriots.”

In A Stance Of Solidarity

Another dance team, The West Coast Country Heat, decided they would also be opting out of the performance at Emerald City Hoedown event, it was reported that the team made this decision as a stance to stand in solidarity with the Borderline Dance Team. According to the Borderline Dance team, that team “too proudly don the colors of our country in the same spirit of patriotism.”

Source: Unsplash/Ben White

This indicated that both teams “stood in solidarity and put actions to words.”

Left With Class

In a post on Facebook, the Borderline Dance Team stated they “walked out with class and dignity despite the discrimination” that they had experienced. The team expressed that they “recognize that being an American means true freedom.”

Source: Unsplash/Dongki Koh

The statement also acknowledged that “watching these teams band together was the greatest performance” ever seen. The post further read that “these people are strong, resolute and unwavering in their patriotism.”

Support Received

The Borderline Dance expressed their overwhelm from the outpour of support from “the majority of the community.” According to the team’s Facebook post, “even several of the organizers” showed their support.

Source: Unsplash/Aaron Burden

The statement also underscored the disappointment experienced by those that showed their support. For example, there was disappointment “in the community they are supposed to feel safe in” in addition to disappointment that the “spirit of the event” was essentially “overshadowed by the political opinions of a small percentage.”

Reason Why They Chose To Wear Those Colors

The Borderline Dance Team also gave statements as to why they chose to wear those colors, in a team statement they said “families and friends of people who have suffered the unimaginable so that we may all have our own opinions and sleep soundly in our beds at night.”

Source: Unsplash/Tory Bishop

The team expressed that “we may not always agree with the current state of things.” However, the concept of “true freedom” is what binds them.

Dance Team Claims

The dance team concluded their statement by mentioning that they “only wanted to entertain.” However, they “didn’t get to do that.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

On a more positive note, however, they were able to “make new friends.” Additionally, they were afforded the opportunity to”build some bridges that maybe wouldn’t have been possible without this incident”

Retired Navy Chief

Michael Shelton, a retired Navy Chief Michael Shelton wrote on a post on Facebook that he fully supported the dance team’s decision to not perform. Shelton stated that he was “so proud” of the team.

Source: Unsplash/sydney Rae

He also mentioned that their decision “took courage and might to stand up to those bigots.” He concluded with, “all should be blessed for the brave decision” that they made.

Veteran Believes

Kimberley Spitler, a Facebook user showed her support by commenting on the Borderline Dance Team’s statement. She said she was “proud” of them for “handling this with grace.”

Source: Unsplash/Benjamin Faust

She also said, “people have lost the understanding of the word ‘triggered.'” She explained that the misinterpretation is that the word “triggered” means “I don’t like it; therefore, I can cancel it.” She highlighted that the term should be reserved for the ones suffering from PTSD, autism, hearing loss, and others that have “experienced specific life threatening events.”

Registered Democrat

Olivia Keister, who is a self proclaimed registered Democrat, shared her support via Facebook as well. She said she was “so embarrassed to have ever called [herself] a Liberal.”

Source: Unsplash/Joshua Sukoff

She went on to explain that “these communities that run on Progressive Liberal principles and policies are in danger.” She highlighted the need “to be there for them when they fail.” According to Keister, however, “we do not need to expect to reach these people in this current era.”

Other Critics Claim

A comment referred to the Facebook post several times, indirectly addressing the people that are threatened by the American flag. For example, one Facebook user offered the “suggestion” that those threatened “leave this great country.”

Source: Unsplash/Markus Winkler

Another user said that it is “heartbreaking” to be disappointed in flag tops and the United States flag. While another Facebook user expressed to the dance team that they should “be prepared for the flood of compassion, love and support.”

Navy Veteran Tells Borderline Dance Team

Jim Capo, a United States Navy Veteran, also offered up his support to the Borderline Dance Team. He referenced an experience when someone told him that his U.S. Navy Veteran hat was offensive.

Source: Unsplash/Ian MacDonald

Capo said he “just laughed at the lady saying it.” He concluded his post with the remark to “never back down on your patriotism.”

Emerald City Hoedown Organized By ‘Nonprofit LGBQT’ Community

The Emerald City Hoedown event was allegedly put together by the Rain Country Dance Association (RCDA). This association is described as a “nonprofit LBGTQ country western dance community in Seattle.”

Source: Unsplash/James A. Molnar

That description is posted to the organization’s official website. RCDA Board President Ziadee Cambier opened up about the incident in a brief statement posted on Facebook

RCDA Has Not Reached Out To Them

The Co-Captian of the Borderline Dance Team, Lindsay Stamp opened up about the RCDA Board President’s statement during an interview with KTTH’s Jason Rantz on Tuesday. She expressed that the group has yet to receive any correspondence or communication from the RCDA.

Source: Facebook/Emerald City Hoedown

Stamp stated that “my team doesn’t take a political stance. We came to dance.”

RCDA Board President

Cambier stated that they are “in continued communication with the captains of the dance teams that were slated to perform Saturday.” They clarified that “this was not a competition.”

Source: Facebook/Borderline Dance Team

She added “no one was disqualified and no one was asked to leave.” and stated that they would be “disabling comments” on the post while “mending our relationships directly with the dance teams.”